Samurai (5e Class)

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Warriors of old and soldiers of war, wielding techniques perfected and passed down through countless generations strike fear into those that witness them on the battlefield. While not in combat, they prefer to keep to themselves. There is very little, if anything, they hold more value in than their honor.

A human in oddly dressed attire spots a foot soldier up ahead surrounded by goblins. He rushes over with extraordinary speed and charges in between the barrage of incoming blades, shielding every last one with his scabbard. The goblins step back, however it was too late. The crackle of lightning fills the air as each goblin falls simultaneously. He flicked his blade, sheathed his sword, and kept on his way.

As an Eladrin silently drinks his ale two men interrupt him, threatening him to give over all his money. The Eladrin snickers, then continues drinking his ale. The two men attack. With unnatural speed the Eladrin throws his ale up in the air and lazily dodges the first jab. He tosses his chair toward the second man before he could react and in a single blink of an eye, his curved blade presses at the others neck. The Eladrin instinctively catches his ale and takes a sip.

An Orc charges toward an Elf, who stands calm and composed. As the Orc closes in, the Elf focuses until her mind is completely blank. She opens her eyes and notices an opening in the Orc's defense. The Orc lifts his greatclub and gets ready to strike. As they meet halfway, the Elf ever so slightly dodges his attack then gracefully cleaves through from the left waist past its right shoulder. The beast lets out an ugly scream, then falls at her feet.

Regardless of the origin or path of these swordsmen, one thing is certain, they are all known as Samurai.

Creating a Samurai

Were you born into your characters allegiance, or were you training for the day you could call yourself a Samurai even though you were not born into the middle or upper crust of society (yet you seem to know matters of etiquette that could not be matched by your current social position)? Did you have your Daisho(nodachi or naginata) passed down to you by your parents, or did you acquire your weapons known as the soul of a Samurai from the local lord of your residence or your master? Did you always have a soul that was meant for honorable deeds in word, action and thought? If this is so, what drove you to such selfless service?

Quick Build You can make a Samurai quickly by following these suggestions. First, Strength or Dexterity should be your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. Second, choose the Soldier background.

Class Features

As a Samurai you gain the following class features.

Hit Points

Hit Dice: 1d10 per Samurai level
Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
Hit Points at Higher Levels: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Samurai level after 1st


Armor: Light, Medium and Heavy Armor
Weapons: Simple Weapons, Martial Weapons
Tools: A gaming set and one artisan’s tool of your choice
Saving Throws: Strength and Constitution
Skills: Choose two skills from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Persuasion, Survival and Stealth.


You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • Leather armor or Chain mail (Samurai Kimono and Samurai Armor)
  • (a) A Longsword (Katana, has both the Versatile and Finesse properties) and a Dagger (Tanto), or (b) A Greatsword (Nodachi or Katana) or a Glaive (Naginata), or (c) A Longbow and 20 arrows, a Tanto and one simple weapon
  • A Shortsword (Wakizashi)
  • (a) Scholar's pack or or (b) Explorer's pack

Table: The Samurai

Level Proficiency
1st +2 Daisho Set, Parry
2nd +2 Bushidō, Fighting Stance
3rd +2 Honor Archetype
4th +2 Ability Score Improvement
5th +3 Extra Attack
6th +3 Fighting Stance
7th +3 Honor Archetype Feature
8th +3 Ability Score Improvement
9th +4 Crucial Seppuku
10th +4 Honor Archetype Feature
11th +4 Possessed Blade, Fighting Stance
12th +4 Ability Score Improvement
13th +5 Precise Strike
14th +5 Honor Archetype Feature
15th +5 Fighting Stance
16th +5 Ability Score Improvement
17th +6 Bushidō (x2), Supreme Meditation
18th +6 Honor Archetype Feature
19th +6 Ability Score Improvement
20th +6 Rōnin, Fighting Stance


You start out with your chosen Samurai weapons: the Katana/Nodachi/Naginata/Longbow and a Wakizashi. They represent your honor and the souls of your ancestors. You may carve a symbol of your choice into the the weapon. If your weapon is lost or destroyed, you can summon it back to you by drawing the symbol (in blood) you carved, onto a solid surface that is larger than your weapon. This requires meditating over a long rest to complete. You must be on the same plane of existence that you lost the weapon to succeed in this. Additionally at the 7th level your Daisho weapon becomes magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.

Fighting Stance

Time in brutal training has allowed you to perfect your ability to adapt your stance to your opponents in combat. You can learn a total of 8 different Stances (Void Stance is only unlocked at level 11 and Kami's Stance is only unlocked at level 20). You learn 2 stances at level 2 and learn 2 new stances at the 6th and 15th level. Upon reaching 15th level you gain the ability to activate and maintain two Stances at once. Upon Reaching 20th level you can activate all stances simultaneously (except Kami's and Void Stance) and retain them until the end of your 2nd turn after using this ability. After the 2 turns you are unable to enter stances for 2 turns and are only able to move 5ft per turn). All activate can only be used once every 24 hours, in addition, you also lose access to Kami's Stance for the duration.

A Stance is activated and changed as a bonus action, and lasts for 1 minute, or until you activate a different Stance, if you are knocked prone, become grappled or restrained. The number of times a Samurai can activate a Stance a day is equal to half your total Samurai Level (rounded down) +1, however changing stances does not count as activating a stance and does not reset the time. A long rest restores all expended uses.

Stone Stance When you enter this stance and at the start of each of your turns while you have at least 1 hit point or more remaining, you gain a number of temporary hit points equal to your Constitution Modifier (Minimum of 1) + your proficiency bonus. These temporary hit points last until you are no longer in this stance. Once per turn, when you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you deal an additional 5 weapon damage to the creature. Opportunity attacks made against you are rolled with advantage and if you use more than half of your movement speed in a turn, this stance immediately ends.

Wind Stance. While in this stance, you become both quick and maneuverable. You may take the Dash or Disengage action as a bonus action, and you ignore difficult terrain when you Dash. Melee attack rolls made against you are at disadvantage and upon an attack missing you are able to make an attack of opportunity against them if they are within weapon range. If you have access to Strike from the Void, you can use one of the charges to make this attack regardless of range.

Water Stance. When you successfully hit a creature with a melee weapon attack while in this stance, you may immediately spend your bonus action to attempt to knock the creature prone. If you do this, you force them to make a Dexterity saving throw equal to (8 + your Strength modifier + your proficiency bonus). Failing this attempt grants the creature advantage on their next attack roll made against you. Additionally, while in this stance, landing an attack of opportunity on an enemy reduces that creatures movement to 0ft until the beginning of its next turn.

Earth Stance. While you are in this stance, you have advantage on Strength checks made to grapple and can hold a two-handed weapon in one hand whilst grappling a creature. Additionally, on one attack per turn, you may use your bonus action to gain a bonus to your AC equal to your proficiency modifier if the attack hit. This bonus AC lasts until the start of your next turn. Also while in this stance your feet are planted firmly on the ground, doing this grants advantage on Strength saving throws and disadvantage on Dexterity saving throws.

Fire Stance. While in this stance, you focus all you have on offence by sacrificing your defences. The first attack you make each turn is made with advantage. Additionally, you suffer a -4 to AC as long as you are in this stance. When you hit a creature with an attack, you may add your Proficiency Modifier to the damage roll as fire damage, which also doubles on a critical hit.

Lightning Stance. As long as you are in this stance; if you use the Dash action, you can attack all the enemies that you come within weapon range of. These attacks require your bonus action. Treat them as critical if they hit enemies who are unaware of you and are unprepared for the attack. Also, you can use your action to attack a single target furiously 3 times. These attacks are incredibly fast but difficult to land accurately, and as such attack rolls are made without proficiency or ability score bonuses (damage is dealt normally with each hit). At the 10th level, you can use this stance to attack a single target 5 additional times without proficiency bonus.

Void Stance. While in this stance, your mind is at its calmest and your senses are heightened to their maximum. All Perception checks are made with advantage. You are immune to the Blinded condition and gain 50ft of Blindsight. The first creature you hit with a weapon attack in this stance takes an additional 2d6 Necrotic or Cold damage (your choice before rolling) to the damage roll. Additionally you can use a full round to extend your Blindsight out to 100ft for the duration of the stance. This stance can not be used with other stances. Switching out of this stance leaves you unable to use any stance for 2 turns.

Kami's Stance. Once per turn, when you take the Attack Action, you may turn one of your attacks into a special attack. This attack requires a single attack roll and targets every enemy within 20ft of you. Using Parry while in this stance does not consume one of its uses. Additionally, when you make a ranged weapon attack, you add an extra weapon die to damage rolls. This stance can not be used with other stances.


Beginning at the 1st level, when another creature hits you or another creature within 5ft of you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction to reduce the damage dealt by the attack by 1d6 + your Dexterity modifier + your Samurai level. You can use this feature twice, you regain all expended uses when you finish a short or long rest. You gain an additional use of this feature at 7th and again at 15th level.


Upon reaching 2nd level, you have settled into the way of the warrior. On your turn, as long as you are in one of your stances, you may use this ability: if you land all the attacks available to you this turn, you may take an additional attack and add your Samurai level to the damage roll as weapon damage. You must finish a long rest to regain use of this feature. Starting at 17th level, you can use this feature 2 times, but only once per turn, between long rests.

Honor Archetype

Upon reaching 3rd level, choose an archetype that you want to be emulating in combat techniques. Choose either Shogun, Iaijutsu Master or Kyūdō. The archetype you pick grants you features at 3rd level, and again at 7th, 10th, 14th, and 18th level.

Ability Score Improvement

Upon reaching 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of you choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. You can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

Extra Attack

Upon reaching 5th level, when you take the attack action, you may attack an additional time.

Crucial Seppuku

Beginning at 9th level, you must succeed even if it costs your life. Before rolling any d20, you may choose to roll with advantage. After the outcome of the roll is determined, you take 3d6 Necrotic Damage. You may use this ability once per turn and twice between a long rest.

Possessed Blade

At the 11th level, your ancestors take notice of your Samurai prowess and offer what they can to aid you. As an action, you can turn one sword you are carrying into a Flying Sword (Monster Manual P.20) for 1 Hour. It takes on all properties of the Flying Sword except Actions; it has the same to hit and damage (not granted by Stances) as if you were using it and requires your bonus action to move and attack. If you don't use your bonus action to control the sword, it remains motionless in its position. The sword remains this way for the duration or until it drops to zero hit points, where it returns to a normal weapon. You can use this once per long rest.

Precise Strike

Beginning at the 13th level, your attacks count as critical hits when you roll a 19 or 20 on the d20.

Supreme Meditation

At the 17th level, while your Daisho Weapon is on your person, you can use an action to use up to half your total Hit Dice(rounded down). If you do so you cannot regain any spent hit dice for 24 hours. You also gain proficiency in Wisdom saving throws.


Upon reaching the 20th level, you call no one master. When rolling initiative you may reroll if you rolled below a 10 on the d20 but you must take the second roll. You gain abilities according to your archetype.

Conqueror's Rights{Shogun} As an action you are able to invoke one of your stances in your allies once per turn, except Kami's or Void stance. They gain the abilities of the stance until the start of your next turn. You also no longer suffer from drawbacks upon leaving stances or All Activate and are now able to Multi stance Void Stance with other stances but no more than 1 other stance.

Warlord's Menace The first time a creature is hit by one your attacks, they must make a Constitution saving throw DC= 10+STR+CHA or become frightened of you for 1 minute. Any creature that fails can make the saving throw again at the end of each of its turns.

Shogun's Benevolence As an action, you may grant up to 2 allies of your choice, within line of sight, the effect of your Supreme Meditation as temporary hit points. Roll your Hit Dice and split up the total if you chose more than one ally. You can use this ability once per long rest.

Master of The Blade{Iaijutsu Master} Your attacks involving your Daisho weapon gain +3 to damage rolls. You gain the abilities "Blade with no Equal" and "Five Rings of the Dragon Deity"

Blade with no Equal Your attacks are able to cut through any material, immunities (if a creature is immune to your blade's damage, treat it as resistant) and barriers created from magical or divine means. Upon rolling a 1 on the attack roll, you may choose to revoke your attack and sheath your blade in preparation for a guaranteed hit next turn (treat it as a normal successful attack and part of Extra Attack) on any enemy of your choice within range of your Strike From The Void (this uses one of its charges). You may do this a number of times equal to your Constitution Modifier. Regain all uses after a Long Rest.

Five Rings of the Dragon Deity Your movement is now 60. If you make an Acrobatics check and roll under 10 on the d20, you can reroll the dice but must take the second roll. Falling from great heights does not injure you. You gain resistance towards Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing damage. As an action, you are able to make a Flying Strike against a single target, adding 1d6 weapon damage for every 5ft you move towards it- if you move more than 120ft towards the target at once, you must make a concentration check DC= 10+ 1(for every 5ft over 120ft ex. 150ft= DC16), a failed concentration check results in loss of extra damage past 120ft. The Flying Strike can only be used twice per long rest.

Zanshin{Kyudo} Whenever you land an attack with a bow you gain a Zen stack. Whenever a bow attack lands you can choose to apply one of the following effects: Tōteki, Kanteki, Zaiteki. Your Zen stack resets to zero once you use an effect, at the end of combat or if you fall unconscious.

Tōteki The target takes an additional xd8, x=Zen stack.

Kanteki The target is pierced and they are slowed by xft. x=Zen stack x 5. If the amount the target is slowed by exceeds their movement speed, they must succeed on a Strength saving throw (DC= 14 + your Zen stack) or have their movement speed become 0 for 1 minute. They can remake the saving throw at the beginning of their turn to end the effect early.

Zaiteki You may make a number of additional attacks equal to your Zen stack against the target. These attacks are made normally but do not gain benefits from any of your abilities and do not add to your Zen stack.

Honor Archetypes


Samurai who take up the Shogun archetype are masters at commanding others and are able to raise their allies’ morale. At the 7th level, you gain the following effect: while in Fire Stance, allies within 15ft of you gain a bonus to their damage rolls equal to your Strength Modifier (does not double on a Critical hit). Additionally, at the 13th level you gain the following effect: while in Water Stance, your allies movement speed cannot be reduced.

Kiai Shout

At 3rd level, you learn the power to intimidate your enemies with a powerful war cry. As a bonus action, choose an enemy that can hear you: the target must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be frightened of you for 1 minute. The enemy may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns. The save DC equals 8 + your Strength modifier + your Proficiency Bonus. You then have to finish a short or long rest in order to use this again.

Commanding Boost

When you reach 7th level you gain the ability to inspire confidence in your allies by shouting and directing them. As a bonus action, choose a number of allies equal to your Strength modifier + 2. Your allies gain advantage and +2 on attack rolls until the end of your next turn. You regain the use of this ability after a short or long rest.

Calm Under Pressure

At 10th level, you have become attuned to the environment of battle and are able to reassure your allies. As a bonus action, choose a number of allies equal to your Strength modifier + 2. You and them regain hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier + Samurai level. You regain the use of this ability after a long rest.

Kiai Command

At 14th level, you can use a bonus action to combine the Kiai Shout with your Commanding Boost. You regain the use of this ability after a long rest. Using this feature doesn't consume your normal use of each individual feature.

War Cry

At level 18 you are a very experienced commander, becoming mentally and vocally stronger. You can now use every other command and shout twice between their respective rests.

Iaijutsu Master

The Iaijutsu Master is the ultimate participant in the art of focusing on an opponent's weak spot, gathering spiritual strength before the fateful strike all from having their Katana sheathed and striking in the same instant. At the 7th level, you gain the following effect: while in Lightning Stance, you gain 15ft to your base speed. Additionally, at the 13th level you gain the following effect: while in Stone Stance, you can use your action to gain AC equal to your Proficiency Modifier until the start of your next turn.

Ritual Dueling

Starting when you gain this archetype at 3rd level, you may spend a bonus action to concentrate on an individual enemy and attain plus 5 to the first attack roll per turn made against that target while you maintain concentration. At the 13th level you also attain a plus 2 to damage rolls against the enemy you are focusing on. You are able to perform this ritual a number of times equal to your Proficiency modifier, regaining all uses after a long rest. Additionally you are now proficient in perception, if you are already proficient then you gain expertise and you have advantage in Wisdom(perception checks) by hearing.

Lightning Blade

Starting at 7th level once per encounter you can use both your action and bonus action to attack all enemies within a 20 foot radius around you. This happens instantly and lightning crackles around and pops around every enemy that was just attacked. Enemies that took a hit must make a DC 18 constitution saving throw or take 5d6 lightning damage and be at disadvantage on attack rolls done to them for 2 turns. You take one level of exhaustion after completing this ability. At level 14 you no longer take a level of exhaustion.

Strike From The Void

Starting at 10th level you now add your Proficiency modifier to the first damage roll made per turn when attacking with your Daisho weapon. Also on one attack per turn you may extend the physical force of your weapon attacks. You may do this a number of times equal to one-half of your Samurai level (rounded down). By doing this you add an extra 5 ft to your melee reach. A sword attack that would usually require 5 ft reach becomes 10, a pole-arm attack could be made at 15 ft instead of 10. Additionally you can use two of these charges to travel in the void, using your action to teleport up to 25 feet (you must be able to see where you end up). After a long rest regain all uses.

One Strike Two Cuts

Beginning at 14th level when you land a hit on a creature you may use your reaction to make an additional attack roll on that enemy, dealing 6d8 Lightning damage on a hit (this attack does not gain bonus damage from other abilities/stances). You may do this a number of times equal to your Constitution Modifier, regain expended uses after a long rest.

Heightened Awareness

Starting at the 18th level, whenever you begin combat, attack rolls made against you have disadvantage until the end of your first turn.


Kyūdō is an elite form of archery used by Samurai to kill foes from great distances. At the 7th level, you gain the following effect: while in Wind Stance, your Longbow's range increases to 300/900. Additionally, at the 13th level you gain the following effect: while in Earth Stance you can only go prone if you fall unconscious.

Twin Arrows

Upon choosing Kyūdō at the 3rd level, your skill with the bow allows you to nock a second arrow (provided you have the ammunition available) on the first attack you make on your turn (the attack is made normally). If you miss, any other attack you make this turn does not gain the benefit (even if it hits). On a hit, you deal the normal weapon damage plus an extra 1d4 Piercing Damage for the second arrow. This damage increases to 1d6 at level 7 and 1d8 at level 14.

Bowmen's Reflex

At the 7th level, when a projectile attack (i.e. arrows or thrown weapons) targets you, you can use your reaction to attempt to intercept it with an arrow. Make an attack roll against the projectile's AC (AC= enemies attack roll). You can do this as long as you have arrows available to shoot. Starting at the 13th level you can use this ability against projectiles targeting your allies within your weapons normal range.


Upon reaching 10th level you learn Yugamae which consists of three possible abilities you can add to one of your attacks, once per turn.

Torikake, while gripping the bowstring with maximum strength you make a ranged bow attack without adding Proficiency or Ability Score modifiers to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +20 to the damage roll.

Tenouchi, you position your hand allowing you to use your bow effectively in close-quarter combat. Using this ability allows you to make a ranged attack roll on an enemy within 5ft of you without being at disadvantage on the attack roll.

Monomi, as a free action choose a target you can see; for 1 minute you add double your proficiency bonus to attack rolls against the chosen target. This effect ends once the target dies or you lose line of sight on it.

You can use each ability twice. You must finish a long rest before you can use the Yugamae abilities again.

Phantom Arrow

Starting at 14th level, you can recall an arrow that misses its target. Once per turn, if you miss an attack with a bow, you can use your reaction to return the arrow to you and make the attack again. You can do this a number of times equal to your proficiency modifier. Regain expended uses after a long rest.

Chaos Volley

Upon reaching the 18th level You can use your action to rain down arrows that explode with elemental energy upon impact. You may shoot up to a number of arrows equal to your Dexterity modifier. Any creatures within a 20ft radius of a point you can see that are within your weapon’s range must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw or take 8d6 damage on a failed saved or half as much on a successful one (you choose the damage type before rolling damage dice). Each arrow deals the same amount of damage and can be shot at the same point, but any creature caught in the radius of more than one arrow only makes the save once. You can use this feature a number of times equal to 1 + your wisdom modifier (minimum of 1). When you finish a long rest, you regain all expended uses.


Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the <Samurai class, you must meet these prerequisites: Dex 13 or Str 13

Proficiencies. When you multi class into the Samurai class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, medium armor, simple weapons, martial weapons.

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