Samurai, Races of War (3.5e Class)
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|“||My ancestors had words for people who would do such a thing. They were not nice words.||”|
The war torn countrysides of many a land are held together with tremendous amounts of dedicated work by masters of weaponry and honor. These martial specialists represent the structure of society by their very existence, and beat the living crap out of any who would dare to stand against it.
At least, that's the idea. In truth, there are those who take upon the mantle of the Samurai only to betray its ideals. Those who trample the fabric of the social network they are supposedly sworn to protect.
Making a Samurai
With your peculiar set of abilities, you are the anti-tank gun. With your Kiai! ability, you are practically guaranteed to win personal combat--as long as you have uses of it left. As you gain Samurai levels, you gain more abilities which negate defenses, allowing you to, for example, demolish the formerly-invulnerable Wall of Force and escape the almighty Forcecage. Your ability to commune with the dead gives you something to do when you're trying to find out where to go next. Your armor and HP are relatively fragile, making you something of a glass cannon--nonetheless, you will be able to reave your way through crowds of opponents, and no matter what your opponent is, you will eventually be able to hurt it.
Alignment: The Samurai can be of any alignment. All of them must maintain the veneer of honor and civility, though there is no reason that they have to actually be Lawful.
Races: The Samurai is primarily found in societies where the law of the land is held in primacy over other things. So while a Samurai himself does not have to be Lawful, Lawful races bear the vast majority of Samurai.
Starting Gold: 4d6x10 gp (140 gold), plus one masterwork weapon.
|1st||+1||+0||+0||+2||Ancestral Weaponry, Pledge of Loyalty|
|6th||+6/+1||+2||+2||+5||Blindfighting, Terrible Blows|
|10th||+10/+5||+3||+3||+7||Blade of Devastation|
|13th||+13/+8/+8||+4||+4||+8||Deny Caster Defenses|
|17th||+17/+12/+12/+12||+5||+5||+10||Blade of Souls|
|20th||+20/+15/+15/+15||+6||+6||+12||Scrolls of Wisdom|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
All of the following are class features of the Samurai.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Samurai are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, as well as a single exotic weapon appropriate to the Samurai's tradition. Samurai are proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields of any kind.
Ancestral Weaponry: Every culture with a Samurai tradition has a signature weapon that Samurai from that culture use. This weapon can be any type of weapon that suits your samurai tradition, the weapon serves as a symbol of the office and prowess of the Samurai.
A samurai can only have one weapon designated as his Ancestral Weapon at a time, and this weapon must be a masterwork weapon exalted by the Samurai's warrior culture. He must perform a 24 hour ritual to call his ancestral spirits into the weapon and designate it as his Ancestral Weapon. This ritual costs 100 gp in incense and offerings, and once performed grants the following abilities:
- Counts as his Ancestral Weapon for all Samurai abilities.
- Has a minimum enhancement bonus to attack and damage equal to his level divided by three (maximum of +5 for a samurai of 20th level or lower).
- The Ancestral weapon has double HPs and +10 Hardness, and has the Ghost Touch special property.
- Example: Bandy Humaido is a Halfling Samurai, and his people greatly extol the halfling skiprock as a weapon of war – but because the skiprock is thrown weapon ammunition, it is inappropriate as an Ancestral Weapon (which, of course, you could only have one of). As such, Bandy instead draws the power of his ancestors into a short sword.
Pledge of Loyalty: Samurai pledge their loyalty to a Lord, a figure of temporal power and head of a noble family or clan. To retain this Lord, they must follow this Lord's orders and uphold any Code of Conduct the Lord obeys. As long as a Samurai does these two things, he cannot be forced to act against his Lord or Lord's family by mind-affecting effects.
Samurai who have broken their vows to their lord are called Ronin, while samurai who have never been pledged to a lord or are unwilling to do so are weapon masters called Kensei, sword saints, or simply "master swordsman" or other descriptive title. Regardless of their name, Samurai without a Lord receive a +4 bonus against mind-affecting effects.
Horde Breaker: A Samurai gains Horde Breaker as a bonus feat at 2nd level. If the Samurai already has this feat, he may choose a Combat Feat instead, but only if he meets the prerequisites of that feat.
Kiai! (Ex): At 3rd level, a Samurai may convert a successful strike into a confirmed critical hit. He may use this ability a number of times per day equal to his Samurai level + 2. This ability is a free action that is declared after the strike is rolled and confirmed as a hit, but before damage is rolled. This ability cannot be used on Attacks of Opportunity.
Whirlwind Attack: A Samurai gains Whirlwind as a bonus feat at 4th level.
Ancestral Guidance (Sp): At 5th level, a Samurai may seek guidance from his ancestors. This counts as a commune effect that can be used once a day. A samurai can also seek guidance from other peoples' ancestors if they are available. This works like a speak with dead effect that may be used once per day.
Blindfighting: A Samurai gains Blind Fighting as a bonus feat at 6th level. If the Samurai already has this feat, he may choose a Combat Feat instead, but only if he meets the prerequisites of that feat.
Parry Magic (Su): At 8th level, a Samurai may use his Ancestral Weapon to parry magic targeted at him. When the Samurai is targeted by a spell or supernatural ability, he may take an SRD:Attack of Opportunity against the targeted effect. If he can make an attack roll against an AC equal to the spell or effect's DC with this Attack of Opportunity, the effect does not affect him.
Subtle Cut: A Samurai gains Subtle Cut as a bonus feat at 9th level. If the Samurai already has this feat, he may choose another Combat Feat instead, but only if he meets the prerequisites of that feat.
Blade of Devastation (Su): At 10th level, the Samurai may attack enemies within his reach through objects and walls, his Ancestral Weapon automatically destroying any unattended object or wall in the way with a Hardness less than 20. As a result, enemies do not gain cover bonuses against an attacking Samurai. This effect can also pierce force effects.
As a standard action, he can also destroy unattended objects of any Hardness with a successful Ancestral weapon attack, or dispel up to a 10' by 10' section of a [force] effect.
Cut Magic (Su): At 12th level, a Samurai may attack ongoing spell effects by attacking the square they are in for Area of Effect effects or the object or person for targeted effects (which does damage as normal to the object or person). This attack is handled like the Samurai's Parry Magic ability, but it only dispels a 10' by 10' section of an Area of Effect spell or spell-like ability.
Deny Caster Defenses (Ex): At 13th level, a Samurai attacking with his Ancestral Weapon ignores any AC bonuses on his targets that come from spells or spell-like abilities.
Final Cut (Ex): At 14th level, a Samurai's Ancestral Weapon gains the Vorpal special quality, even if it is not a slashing weapon.
Iaijutsu Master (Ex): At 15th level, any enemy struck by a Samurai's Attacks of Opportunity must make a Fortitude save against a DC equal to 10 + ½ the Samurai's HD + the Samurai's Wisdom bonus or be dazed for one round. A successful save against this effect makes the enemy immune to this effect for five rounds.
Reflect Magic (Su): At 16th level, a spell effect that would be dispelled by a successful use of the Samurai's Parry Magic ability can instead be reflected back on the caster, as per a spell turning effect.
Blade of Souls: At 17th level, any enemy killed by a Samurai's Ancestral Weapon has his soul sucked into it, and this enemy cannot be raised, resurrected, or otherwise returned to life until the Ancestral Blade is broken. Each time the Ancestral Weapon takes a soul, the Samurai gains a single bonus use of his Kiai! ability that must be used before the next sunrise.
Scrolls of Wisdom: At 20th level, the Samurai has reached the pinnacle of his art, and he may compose a treatise of his collected wisdom. If he spends one month composing this treatise, he may distribute it and spread his wisdom. Anyone who reads this treatise gains a +2 competence bonus to attack characters with Samurai levels, but a -8 penalty to attack the writer of the treatise.
In addition, a Samurai who writes his treatise no longer takes ability penalties for aging as long as one copy of the treatise exists.