Stormfist (3.5e Class)
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Most adventurers' journeys towards greater power are external. They react to the constant threat of death and danger by honing some skill outside themselves to deal with it. A stormfist's journey is more of an internal one. They strain their minds and bodies beyond their limit, find what breaks down, and make it stronger so they can push further next time. The powers the stormfist gains take five different forms, known as martial styles. The stormfist focuses on one style first before gaining skill with others. Whether the means they develop to further themselves is natural or supernatural in nature, they all come from brutally honest introspection. Stormfists therefore must fight unarmored and unarmed, as doing otherwise would disrupt their singleminded focus on themselves.
Making a Stormfist
With high saves, good damage output, and good mobility, the stormfist's job is always in the thick of combat. That job may vary based on how the stormfist chooses to allocate their style points. Some are best when moving through crowds of weaker enemies, clearing a path through them. Some are better at punching through enemy defenses and striking at critical targets. Others try to focus fire away from their teammates, moving in to support them in combat when able.
Abilities: Wisdom is important to stormfists, as many of its combat styles make use of it. Dexterity is also crucial, to bolster defenses and act first. Constitution, while not vital to the stormfist's class abilities, is useful to boost hit points and fortitude. Despite being a class dedicated to melee combat, Strength is only of minor importance to Stormfists.
Races: Any race capable of introspection can become a stormfist. Humans are frequent members of the class, due to their adaptability. Half-breeds like half-elves and half-orcs may take to the discipline as well, to defend themselves when they have little else to fight with. Elves sometimes take up the art as a matter of intrigue. Halflings on hard times might pursue this path as well. Dwarves, however, likely will not; their culture's focus on the smithing arts makes combat without weapons or armor nearly unheard-of. Some members of the more organized monstrous races also take up the discipline, such as gnolls and hobgoblins.
Alignment: Stormfists are singleminded and honest with themselves, giving some a tendency towards lawfulness, while their focus on the individual self suits the chaotic. Some seek to elevate themselves to a lofty ideal in the pursuit of good, while others want power that nobody can steal from them in the pursuit of evil. Stormfists tend towards neutrality, but any alignment may be found among their numbers.
Starting Gold: 2d4×10 gp 50 gp.
Starting Age: Simple.
|1st||+0||+2||+2||+2||Martial Styles, Unarmed Mastery, Striking Discipline||1|
|2nd||+1||+3||+3||+3||Bonus Style Point||1|
|4th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Bonus Style Point||2|
|5th||+3||+4||+4||+4||Strike Bonus +1||3|
|6th||+4||+5||+5||+5||Bonus Style Point||3|
|8th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Bonus Style Point||4|
|9th||+6/+1||+6||+6||+6||Strike Bonus +2||5|
|10th||+7/+2||+7||+7||+7||Bonus Style Point||5|
|12th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Bonus Style Point||6|
|13th||+9/+4||+8||+8||+8||Strike Bonus +3||7|
|14th||+10/+5||+9||+9||+9||Bonus Style Point||7|
|16th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Bonus Style Point||8|
|17th||+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+10||Strike Bonus +4||9|
|18th||+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+11||Bonus Style Point||9|
|20th||+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+12||Bonus Style Point||10|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the stormfist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Stormfist is proficient with her natural weapons. She gains no other weapon, armor, or shield proficiencies.
Martial Styles: A stormfist is a master of her own body, studying its inner workings and limitations through meditation, combat, exercise, and other strenuous activities. The knowledge gained through this study allows the stormfist to unlock hidden powers and perform amazing physical feats in disciplines called martial styles. This knowledge is represented by style points, and a stormfist increases her mastery in a known martial style by gaining style points in that style. The stormfist knows the martial styles listed under martial styles known, below. Each martial style description describes the benefits gained by that style. Each martial style is considered to have 0 style points in it before the stormfist adds style points to it.
At first level, the stormfist chooses a primary martial style. Once chosen, primary martial style cannot be changed. She has a number of points in her primary style at each stormfist level given on Table: The Stormfist. Her bonus style point ability grants her additional style points as she levels up. (Note: she may also use the Martial Style Aptitude feat to gain additional style points.)
Abilities granted by martial styles require delicate precision and an unrestrained body. She loses the benefits of all abilities granted by martial styles while wearing armor, using a shield, wielding a manufactured weapon, or carrying more than a light load.
Some benefits granted by martial styles have effects based on style level. Style level is not the same as style points. A stormfist's base style level for any martial style is equal to the number of style points she has in that martial style plus Martial Style Focus feat or wearing a Robe of the Storm.)½ her stormfist levels (rounded down). When an ability granted by a martial style refers to style level, it uses the style level for the martial style that granted that ability. (Note: she may also alter her style level by taking the
The save DC against an ability from a martial style, if it allows a save, is 10 + the number of style points in the martial style that granted the ability + the stormfist's Wisdom modifier, unless otherwise noted. (Note: she may boost this DC by taking the Martial Style Focus feat.)
Fleet Spirit: Practitioners of this style focus on raw speed, pushing their bodies and wills to the absolute limit in order to achieve superhuman feats of quickness. The stormfist has each ability listed on Table: Fleet Spirit with a style point requirement less than or equal to the number of style points she has in fleet spirit. Descriptions of these abilities are listed below the table.
Nimble Combatant: Those who practice in this style focus on using their agility to gain advantage over their opponents in combat. The stormfist has each ability listed on Table: Nimble Combatant with a style point requirement less than or equal to the number of style points she has in nimble combatant. Descriptions of these abilities are listed below the table.
Overpowering Force: Those who grow in their knowledge of this style learn to focus and intensify the deadly power of their own bodies, bringing ruinous destruction to those who stand opposed to them. The stormfist has each ability listed on Table: Overpowering Force with a style point requirement less than or equal to the number of style points she has in overpowering force. Descriptions of these abilities are listed below the table.
Path of Resilience: Pursuers of this martial style seek inner strength more than outer strength, surviving in combat with sheer willpower. The stormfist has each ability listed on Table: Path of Resilience with a style point requirement less than or equal to the number of style points she has in path of resilience. Descriptions of these abilities are listed below the table.
Weavebreaker: While not overtly magical themselves, practitioners of this martial style study the way that magical energy flows through the body and the world around them. They use the knowledge gained by this study to perform small semi-magical feats and disrupt magic from others. The stormfist has each ability listed on Table: Weavebreaker with a style point requirement less than or equal to the number of style points she has in weavebreaker. Descriptions of these abilities are listed below the table.
Bonus Style Point: At each even stormfist level, the stormfist gains a bonus style point. She chooses one martial style she knows with fewer style points than her primary martial style. The number of style points she has in that martial style increases by 1.
Unarmed Mastery: At 1st level, a stormfist gains Improved Unarmed Strike and Weapon Focus (unarmed strike) as bonus feats. A stormfist’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a stormfist may even make unarmed strikes with her hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a stormfist striking unarmed. A stormfist may thus apply her full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all her unarmed strikes (but see striking discipline).
Usually a stormfist’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but she can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on her attack roll. She has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A stormfist’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 stormfist's damage with her unarmed strikes differs from a normal person's. Stormfists' unarmed strike damage is governed by an unarmed strike level. Her base unarmed strike level is defined by her size category, as given on Table: Unarmed Strike Level. If the stormfist's size changes, for example if she is targeted by an enlarge person spell, her base unarmed strike level changes accordingly. However, effects that allow a stormfist to wield weapons as if a greater size do not affect her unarmed strike level. Certain abilities may give the stormfist bonuses or penalties to her unarmed strike level, and her strike bonus ability grants her additional bonuses to unarmed strike level as she levels up. Penalties to unarmed strike level cannot bring the unarmed strike level below 1. Unarmed strike damage increases by 1d12 for each unarmed strike level above 14. (Note: the stormfist can alter her unarmed strike level by wearing a Belt of Bodily Mastery, and a stormfist smaller than Medium size can also alter it with the Dense Fists feat.)
Striking Discipline (Ex): A stormfist may choose to act in combat using three different disciplines, each of which inflicts damage and defends itself in a different way. The three disciplines are pummeling discipline, lacerating discipline, and impaling discipline. The stormfist chooses a discipline to use as a swift action, and remains in that discipline until she changes it again. She also loses her current striking discipline when she dons armor, uses a manufactured weapon or shield, or carries more than a light load. She may not use more than one striking discipline at the same time.
Pummeling Discipline: The stormfist attacks by slamming her extremities into her target with as much sheer force as she can muster. Unarmed strikes made while using the pummeling discipline deal bludgeoning damage and use the stormfist's Strength modifier for attack and damage rolls (as normal). The stormfist also uses her sheer power to deflect blows, adding her Strength bonus (if any) as a bonus to AC. This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the stormfist is flat-footed. She loses this bonus AC when she is immobilized or helpless. Bonuses to AC granted by this ability do not stack with the monk's AC bonus ability.
Lacerating Discipline: The stormfist employs glancing blows across the surface of her target, shearing it. Unarmed strikes made while using the pummeling discipline deal slashing damage and use the stormfist's Dexterity modifier for attack and damage rolls instead of Strength. The stormfist also uses her limberness to reflexively roll with attacks, adding her Dexterity bonus (if any) as a bonus to AC (this bonus is independent from, and does not count as, the stormfist's Dexterity bonus to AC). This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the stormfist is flat-footed. She loses this bonus AC when she is immobilized or helpless. Bonuses to AC granted by this ability do not stack with the monk's AC bonus ability.
Impaling Discipline: The stormfist focuses all of her damage into as small an area as possible, making up what the attack lacks in force with precise strikes to structural weak points. Unarmed strikes made while using the impaling discipline deal piercing damage and use the stormfist's Wisdom modifier for attack and damage rolls instead of Strength. The stormfist also uses her intuition to predict and react to her opponents' attacks, adding her Wisdom bonus (if any) as a bonus to AC. This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the stormfist is flat-footed. She loses this bonus AC when she is immobilized or helpless. Bonuses to AC granted by this ability do not stack with the monk's AC bonus ability.
Heightened Agility (Ex): The stormfist uses sheer willpower to force more motion out of her body than would usually be possible. She gets a bonus to base speed equal to 5 ft. per style level.
The stormfist uses different methods to trip foes while using a striking discipline. If she is under the pummeling discipline, she performs a melee touch attack followed by an opposed Strength check to trip, as normal. While under the lacerating discipline, she uses her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier during both the initial melee touch attack and the Strength check. She uses her Wisdom modifier instead of her Strength modifier during both the initial melee touch attack and the Strength check while under the impaling discipline. The opposed check still counts as a Strength check, it just uses a different modifier.
Limber (Ex): The stormfist has trained her legs to leap and control her falls with amazing precision and force. She may take 10 on Jump checks, even if distracted or endangered. She is considered to have a running start for any jump she makes, even while standing still. Additionally, she no longer takes damage from falling any distance. She falls at a rate of 160 feet per round regardless of how many rounds she falls, but cannot fall more than that in one round. Falling does not require an action and is considered to happen instantaneously for the stormfist. If the stormfist exceeds her falling distance while in a position that does not allow her to move (such as being in the air without the benefit of any ability that allows her to fly or move while airborne) she ends her round there and continues to fall on her next turn.
The stormfist halves the DC to perform a high jump. Additionally, when performing a long jump, in addition to the vertical height equal to one-quarter of the horizontal distance traveled during the jump as normal, the stormfist may voluntarily add additional height to a long jump by increasing the DC by 2 per foot of increase.
Falling during a jump counts against the total distance the stormfist can fall in a round.
Unbalancing Leap (Ex): The stormfist can leap onto her opponents with great force, disorienting and knocking them prone. Whenever she lands from a drop of at least 20 feet, she may immediately make a trip attack against a single adjacent creature as a free action. This distance need not be purely vertical. For example, a long jump that included at least 20 feet of overall vertical descent would qualify. If the intital touch attack to initiate the trip attempt is successful, the stormfist deals her unarmed strike damage to the target as if she had performed an unarmed strike (This does not require another attack roll, but does include damage type and appropriate ability score modifiers as if it were a normal unarmed strike attack performed by the stormfist), but with a -2 penalty to unarmed strike level.
For each additional 20 feet of vertical descent beyond the first that triggered this ability, to a maximum of 80 feet, the stormfist has a +1 bonus to unarmed strike level and counts as one size category larger for the purposes of that trip attempt. These additional size categories are used when determining which opponents the stormfist may attempt to trip and for determining her bonus or penalty to the trip's opposed check based on her size. They do not alter her reach or grant any other bonuses or penalties based on size category.
Parkour (Ex): The stormfist runs, leaps, clings, and slides with such intense focus that she can move in ways that seem almost supernatural. She can move through any obstacle without slowing, as if under the effects of a freedom of movement spell. She may move across any vertical surface as if it were horizontal, or across the surface of any liquid as if it were solid. However, if she ends her movement while on such a surface, she drops immediately.
Waver (Su): In combat, the stormfist can shift and vibrate her body in strange and unpredictable ways that trick the senses. She acts as if under the effects of a blur spell at all times, unless she is flat-footed or denied her Dexterity bonus to AC.
Skyrunner (Su): The stormfist's will to move her body is so strong that it defies the laws of physics. She may stand, walk, run, jump, land, or otherwise move on nothing as if she were on a solid surface. The forces holding her aloft affect only her. She no longer automatically drops if she stops moving while running on a liquid or vertical surface.
She behaves at all times as if she were in a plane with subjective directional gravity. She may change which direction she perceives as down once per round as a free action as normal, but does not need to perform a Wisdom check to do so. This change lasts until she alters her perception of gravity again or until she becomes unconscious. In addition to choosing gravity's direction, she may also choose its strength, between no gravity, half gravity, normal gravity, and double gravity. This choice only affects the way she reacts to gravity. While experiencing the effects of half gravity, the DC for all Jump checks is halved and each 10 feet of falling counts as 5 feet for the purposes of determining how far she dropped for her unbalancing leap and meteor leap abilities. While experiencing the effects of double gravity, the DC for all Jump checks is doubled and each 5 feet of falling counts as 10 feet for the purposes of determining how far she dropped. These changes to effective falling distance do not apply to the limit of how far she can fall in a round. While experiencing the effects of no gravity, she does not fall.
Items the stormfist carry encumber her based on their weight in normal gravity, even though they experience the effects of her personal gravity as long as they remain in contact with her.
Ripple (Su): The stormfist's ability to move unpredictably in combat improves. She acts as if under the effects of a displacement spell at all times, unless she is flat-footed or denied her Dexterity bonus to AC (different types of concealment do not stack).
Meteor Leap (Ex): The stormfist streaks towards the ground, slamming into it with such force that it causes a spherical shockwave that knocks others off their feet. Whenever she lands from a drop of at least 80 feet, she may choose to perform a meteor leap as a free action once per round. If she does, all other creatures up to one size category larger than her within 20 feet make an opposed check with the stormfist as if she were tripping them. She treats this trip attempt as if the initial touch attack were automatically successful and uses all the relevant modifiers, such as those based on size. Affected creatures are denied the opportunity to trip as a response to this attack if it fails. The stormfist takes a -4 penalty to the trip attempt's opposed check.
Creatures within half of the radius of this effect are affected more severely. They take a -4 penalty to their opposed trip check and are stunned for 1 round. The stormfist deals her unarmed strike damage to the target as if she had performed an unarmed strike (This does not require another attack roll, but does include damage type and appropriate ability score modifiers as if it were a normal unarmed strike attack performed by the stormfist), but with a -2 penalty to unarmed strike level. A successful Fortitude save halves the damage and negates the stunning effect.
For each additional 40 feet of drop beyond the first that triggered this ability, to a maximum of 160 feet, the attack's radius increases by 10 feet, the stormfist has a +1 bonus to unarmed strike level, and she counts as one size category larger for the purposes of that trip attempt. These additional size categories are used when determining which opponents the stormfist may attempt to trip and for determining her bonus or penalty to the trip's opposed check based on her size. They do not alter her reach or grant any other bonuses or penalties based on size category.
The stormfist may not trigger meteor leap and unbalancing leap from the same landing.
Harmonic Stillness (Ex): The stormfist may enter a trance-like state wherein her mind and body become attuned with the primal concept of motion. In this state, she appears to be standing still, but is actually moving the essence of her position through space in every direction simultaneously. She may activate this ability as a free action once per day, granting her the quantum step ability for a number of rounds equal to her Wisdom bonus (if any). She loses the quantum step ability and all of the effects it grants when that duration expires or when she voluntarily dismisses it, whichever comes first.
Quantum Step (Su): The stormfist has an internal movement pool of potential motion which she may make real. When she gains this ability and at the beginning of each of her turns, the remaining distance in her movement pool becomes 80 feet. The stormfist may teleport as a free action up to the distance remaining in her movement pool, subtracting the distance she teleported from it. The stormfist's threatened area increases by the size of her movement pool, but the range of her attacks do not change. If a creature provokes an attack of opportunity from the stormfist that she would not be able to make if not for this range increase, the stormfist may not make that attack unless she first reaches a position from which that attack would normally threaten.
The stormfist may teleport as part of any voluntary movement. This teleportation is subject to the same restrictions as her movement would be (such as the distance limits for that movement, the requirement that she moves in a straight line while taking the run action, and the requirement that she ends movement from a charge adjacent to her target), and distance traveled during the teleport counts against distance she may move during that movement.
Distance traveled during teleportation granted by this ability counts as distance moved for the purposes of all effects based on movement. Teleportation granted by this ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Evasion (Ex): The stormfist learns to avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. A helpless stormfist does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Additionally, the stormfist may push herself beyond her normal limits to continue attacking. If an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from the stormfist, but the stormfist has already used all of her attacks of opportunity during this round, she may attempt to make the attack anyway. She and the opponent make an opposed Dexterity check. If the stormfist is successful, she takes a -2 penalty to this Dexterity check, AC, and to attack rolls until the start of her turn, then she may make the attack of opportunity after the penalty is applied. These penalties apply immediately after the check is made, and they stack. If the stormfist fails, she is denied the attack of opportunity, but takes no penalty. The stormfist fails on a tie.
Patient Strike (Ex): The stormfist can use an opening from a failed attack to strike her opponent in combat. Creatures provoke attacks of opportunity from the stormfist any time they miss an attack against her, even with a targeted spell.
Perfect Defense (Ex): The stormfist can focus entirely on defending herself and creating openings to strike instead of attacking. The stormfist has additional options while using total defense (by taking the total defense action), as follows. The stormfist may make attacks of opportunity. When using her unyielding reflex ability to take more attacks of opportunity than she would normally be allowed, the stacking penalty she takes to her opposed Dexterity check, AC, and attack rolls decreases to -1. When she provokes an attack of opportunity from an opponent by moving out of or within that opponent's threatened area, and that opponent does not take that attack of opportunity, that opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from the stormfist.
Combat Awareness (Ex): The stormfist is adept at dividing her attention and maintaining constant vigilance. Unless she is immobilized, she always retains her Dexterity bonus to AC and cannot be flanked.
Improved Evasion (Ex): This ability works like evasion, except that while the stormfist still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks, she henceforth takes only half damage on a failed save. A helpless stormfist does not gain the benefit of improved evasion.
Intimidating Stance (Ex): The stormfist can adopt a wide form, keeping her eye on a large area, attacking and retreating in the blink of an eye the moment she spots an opening. When she takes the total defense action, she has reach as if she were one size category larger than her current size (her size does not actually change, and she still takes up the same amount of space).
Unbreakable Defense (Su): The stormfist's ability to avoid harm and exploit openings increases. While using total defense, any opponent attempting to strike or otherwise directly attack the stormfist, even with a targeted spell, must attempt a Reflex save. If the save succeeds, the opponent attacks normally. If the save fails, the opponent attempts the attack but automatically misses. This provokes an attack of opportunity due to the stormfist's patient strike ability. The stormfist may use that attack of opportunity to attempt to redirect the attack back on the attacker if the attack was ranged (such as a thrown weapon or a spell that requires a ranged touch attack) using her base ranged attack bonus. This ability does not prevent the stormfist from being attacked or affected by area or effect spells.
Perfect Defense (Ex): The stormfist can hone her focus instantly to achieve a perfect moment of clarity in which she effortlessly responds to every weakness. Once per day, she can use the total defense action as a free action. When she does, she maintains the total defense for a number of rounds equal to her Wisdom bonus (if any). During this time, she automatically succeeds the opposed Dexterity check to perform additional attacks of opportunity with her unyielding reflex ability.
Double Blow (Ex): The stormfist can draw on a limited reserve of inner strength to attack twice when she would normally attack once. Once per round, before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she is making this attack a double blow. If she does, she makes the attack as normal, then immediately performs a second unarmed strike attack using the same base attack bonus. She may choose a different target for the second attack. Resolve each attack separately. The stormfist can only perform a double blow a number of times per day equal to her style level.
Certain other abilities count as a use of double blow and cost the stormfist one of her daily uses of this ability. These abilities are subject to the same use limits as her double blow. For example, she may not use her ravaging blow in the same round as her double blow, or twice in the same round, nor may she use those abilities if she does not have enough uses of double blow remaining to do so.
Ravaging Blow (Ex): Rather than focusing on making more attacks, the stormfist may draw on her reserve of inner strength to hit harder and with more precision. Once per round, before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she is making this attack a ravaging blow. If she does, for that attack, she gains a +1 bonus to her unarmed strike level, a +5 bonus to her attack roll, and doubles the critical threat range with her unarmed strike. This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of her unarmed strike (though it does stack with effects that alter the attack's base threat range, such as critical strike). This counts as the stormfist's use of double blow for that turn and uses one of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows.
Echoing Critical (Ex): The stormfist finds that sometimes, she strikes opponents with such force that it creates an opening for another attack. When she scores a critical hit with her unarmed strike, she may immediately perform another unarmed strike attack using the same base attack bonus. She may choose a different target for the second attack. Resolve each attack separately.
Frenzied Blow (Ex): A stormfist can channel an immense amount of inner strength to go into an attacking frenzy. Once per round, before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she is making this attack a frenzied blow. If she does, she makes the attack as normal, then immediately performs two additional unarmed strike attacks using the same base attack bonus. She may choose different targets for these attacks. Resolve each attack separately. This counts as her use of double blow for that round and uses two of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows.
Empowered Strike (Ex): The stormfist is more adept at causing harm, giving her a +1 bonus to her unarmed strike level. Additionally, her unarmed strikes count as adamantine for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction and hardness.
Forceful Blow (Su): The stormfist can use her inner strength to call out destructive potential in ways that transcend physical damage. Before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she is making this attack a forceful blow. Creatures killed by this unarmed strike are are completely pulverized, their remains reduced to nothing but dust and bloody mist. If the stormfist strikes an object with this attack, she utterly demolishes as much as a 5-foot cube of inanimate matter. This destructive energy even demolishes other force effects, such as forceful hand or wall of force, as if they were struck by a disintegrate spell. This uses one of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows but does not count as her use of double blow for that round (she may use this ability many times on different attacks she makes in the same round, spending a use of double blow each time).
Crashing Blow (Ex): The stormfist may draw on immense inner focus to strike twice with unmatched force and precision. Once per round, before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she is making this attack a crashing blow. If she does, she makes the attack as normal, then immediately performs a second unarmed strike attack using the same base attack bonus. For both attacks, she gains a +1 bonus to her unarmed strike level, a +5 bonus to her attack roll, and double the critical threat range with her unarmed strike. This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of her unarmed strike (though it does stack with effects that alter the attack's base threat range, such as critical strike). She may choose a different target for the second attack. Resolve each attack separately. This counts as her use of double blow for that turn and uses three of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows.
Unlimited Strike (Ex): Abilities which use one or more of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows (including double blow itself) use one fewer daily uses of that ability instead. For example, crashing blow now uses two of the stormfist's daily allotment of double blows, while forceful blow now uses none.
Critical Force (Ex): The stormfist may clear her mind of everything except the purity and precision of her destructive potential. She may activate this ability as a free action once per day, granting her the critical dreadnought ability for a number of rounds equal to her Wisdom bonus (if any). She loses the critical dreadnought ability and all of the effects it grants when that duration expires or when she voluntarily dismisses it, whichever comes first.
Critical Dreadnought (Ex): The stormfist automatically confirms all critical hits. When she rolls a value for an attack roll that would normally threaten a critical hit with her unarmed strike, but her target is immune to critical hits, she may treat that attack as if it were a critical hit for the purposes of triggering her echoing critical ability. Her base critical threat range is doubled. While performing a ravaging blow or crashing blow, her base critical threat range is tripled. This effect doesn’t stack with any other effect that expands the threat range of her unarmed strike (though it does stack with effects that alter the attack's base threat range, such as critical strike).
|6||Purity of Spirit|
Mending Will (Su): The stormfist may knit her wounds back together by sheer willpower. Each day she can heal a total number of hit points of damage equal to her style level × 5. She may choose to divide her healing among multiple uses, but each time it requires an immediate action or a standard action.
Resoluteness (Ex): The stormfist can take punishment beyond normal mortal limits. She no longer needs to eat, drink, breathe, or sleep. She can swim, run, and march indefinitely without tiring, and exist comfortably in hot or cold environments as if under the effects of an endure elements spell.
Persistence (Ex): The stormfist keeps going when others cannot. She gains Diehard as a bonus feat, even if she does not meet the prerequisites. Additionally, she is not rendered unconscious by nonlethal damage until her nonlethal damage exceeds her hit point total, rather than her current hit points.
Tenacity (Ex): The stormfist can resist magical and unusual attacks with great resilience. If exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Fortitude save for a partial or half effect, the stormfist suffers no effect with a successful saving throw.
Purity of Spirit (Ex): The stormfist has devoted some study into more subtle ways that harm might befall her body, and has worked to improve her overall wellness as a result. She gains immunity to all poisons and diseases, even magical diseases. She does not takes penalties to her ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that she has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the stormfist still dies of old age when her time is up.
Reconstitute (Su): The stormfist has learned to force her bodily healing to accelerate. She may use 20 hit points of the healing granted to her by mending will to gain fast healing 4 for 1 minute. When she does, the stormfist's severed body members, broken bones, and ruined organs grow back. The physical regeneration is complete in 1 round if the severed members are present and touching the stormfist. It takes 1 minute otherwise. Activating this ability requires a standard action and provokes attacks of opportunity. The stormfist may activate this ability even while dying or unconscious.
Improved Tenacity (Ex): This ability works like tenacity, except that while the stormfist still suffers no effects on a successful Fortitude saving throw, she henceforth takes the effects of attacks offering a Fortitude save as if she succeeded her save even when she fails it, unless the attack is harmless or also affect objects (for example, if affected by a slay living spell, the stormfist takes damage instead of dying on a failed save and no effect on a successful one).
Deny Death (Ex): The stormfist's familiarity with her own body is so absolute, that her soul clings to it more tightly than usual. Once per day, when the stormfist dies of something besides old age, she gains the clinging to life ability for a number of rounds equal to her Wisdom bonus (if any). She loses the ability and all of the effects it grants when that duration expires or when she voluntarily dismisses it, whichever comes first. Both this ability and the clinging to life ability function even while the stormfist is dead.
Clinging to Life (Su): The stormfist retains her place in initiative order while dead. Her hit point total cannot cause her to become dead, dying, or disabled. She is not staggered or unconscious regardless of her total nonlethal damage. At the beginning of her turn, if the stormfist's current hit point total is less than -10, it becomes -10. If her body was destroyed (for example, if it was targeted by a disintegrate spell), she may, as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity and ignores the standard rule that the dead may not take any actions, pull just enough of her broken remains to resurrect back into existence within 10 feet of the location where she died through sheer force of will. If she is dead and still has her remains, she may, as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity and ignores the standard rule that the dead may not take any actions, return to life with -10 hit points. This resurrection does not cause level loss as normal.
|4||Open the Weave|
Primal Ward (Su): The stormfist's enhanced understanding of primal elemental energies allow her to reconfigure her magical signature to resist them. The stormfist gains resistance equal to her style level to her choice of acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic. She may alter this choice as a swift action.
Primal Strike (Su): The stormfist has learned to make her attacks receptive to primal elemental energies, making her unarmed strike count as a magic weapon for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. Additionally, she may choose to deliver those elemental energies in lieu of the actual physical force of an unarmed attack. If she does, the unarmed strike's damage type changes depending on her striking discipline when she made the attack. She deals fire damage for attacks made in the pummeling discipline, cold damage for the lacerating discipline, and electricity damage for the impaling discipline.
Determination (Ex): The stormfist can resist magical and unusual attacks with great willpower. If exposed to any effect that normally allows her to attempt a Will save for a partial or half effect, the stormfist suffers no effect with a successful saving throw.
Open the Weave (Su): The stormfist has learned to detect ripples that her body makes in the ether, and has begun to notice patterns in the way that those ripples rebound off of other objects or creatures, giving her glimpses of a hidden world around her that she can use to locate and attack difficult-to-find foes. Her unarmed strikes deal damage normally against incorporeal and ethereal creatures as if they were a force effect. Additionally, as a swift action, she may close her eyes and focus on ethereal vibrations, gaining an innate sense of the shapes of all objects nearby through a sort of ethereal echolocation that allows her to build a three-dimensional mental map of her surroundings. She is blind, but has blindsight out to a distance of 40 feet. Since the stormfist is intuiting the shapes of objects by their ethereal imprint rather than actually visually seeing them, line of effect for her blindsight can penetrate barriers, but is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of dirt or wood. This mental image encompasses the entire area around her, not just in the direction she faces. She may open her eyes as a free action to end the effect.
Disruptive Reaction (Ex): The stormfist has observed the ways that spellcasters can avoid her disruptive influence while casting, and has developed strategies to harry an opponent and circumvent those defenses. Once per round as a free action, the stormfist may choose one creature as the target of her disruptive reaction. If that creature casts a spell or uses a spell-like ability in the stormfist's threatened area during that time, it always provokes attacks of opportunity from the stormfist, even if the creature casts defensively or decreases the spell's casting time (such as by using the Quicken Spell feat on it).
Ethereal Persistence (Ex): The stormfist's understanding of magical intrusion into her being broadens to encompass all magical effects, and she learns to better resist some of them. She gains spell resistance 10 plus her level. She may voluntarily suppress this resistance for 1 round as an immediate action. Additionally, she acts as if under the effects of a nondetection spell at all times. The DC for the caster level check to overcome this nondetection is 15 + her level.
Great Ward (Su): The stormfist's ability to resist primal elemental energies improves. She gains resistance equal to ½ her style level (rounded down) to acid, cold, electricity, fire, and sonic. This resistance stacks with resistance from her primal ward.
Improved Determination (Ex): This ability works like determination, except that while the stormfist still suffers no effects on a successful Will saving throw against attacks, she henceforth takes the effects of attacks offering a Will save as if she succeeded her save even when she fails it, as long the attack is a compulsion or is mind-affecting (for example, if targeted by a hold person spell, the stormfist is not paralyzed whether she succeeds her save or not).
Dispelling Blow (Su): Before any unarmed strike attack roll, the stormfist may declare that she will attempt to make that attack a dispelling blow. If she does, she takes a -2 penalty to her attack roll and unarmed strike level for that attack, and delivers the effects of a greater dispel magic spell against the target of the attack if it lands successfully. She may use the targeted dispel or counterspell versions of the spell, only. Her caster level for this spell is her style level. Unlike normal castings of the greater dispel magic spell, there is no maximum caster level bonus to the dispel check for this attack.
Ethereal Hum (Ex): After intensive study of the ways that magical energies flow through the ether and through her body, the stormfist learns to enter a state of hyperfocus. In this state, she interlocks the energy in her body with the natural magical weave of the world, charging it with volatile elemental energy and twisting its conduits to away from herself. She may activate this ability once per day as a free action, granting her the primal aura ability for a number of rounds equal to her Wisdom bonus (if any). She loses the primal aura ability and all of the effects it grants when that duration expires or when she voluntarily dismisses it, whichever comes first.
Primal Aura (Su): The stormfist's body is cloaked in a swirling field of volatile energy that extends 5 feet in every direction from her body and moves with her. This energy is attuned to whichever energy type she currently resists with her primal ward ability. Effects dealing that type of damage are completely absorbed into this aura, granting the stormfist immunity to the chosen energy type. All creatures take continuous 1d6 damage per two style levels each round that they remain within 5 feet of the stormfist. This damage is of the same type as the energy the stormfist resists with her primal ward. Creatures take this damage again immediately each time they attempt to make physical contact with the stormfist. The stormfist cannot see normally through the energy field surrounding her. However, her intense connection with the ether makes her intuitively aware of rebounding vibrations in the magical weave. She is blinded, but has blindsight out to a distance of 120 feet. Since the stormfist is intuiting the shapes of objects by their ethereal imprint rather than actually visually seeing them, line of effect for her blindsight can penetrate barriers, but is blocked by 1 foot of stone, 1 inch of common metal, a thin sheet of lead, or 3 feet of dirt or wood. This mental image encompasses the entire area around her, not just in the direction she faces. She sees the true forms of everything through this blindsight as if by a true seeing spell. Additionally, whenever an opponent attempts to cast a spell (or use a spell-like ability) targeting the stormfist, that opponent must succeed an opposed caster level check against the stormfist. The stormfist uses her style level as her caster level for this check. If that opponent fails the check, their spell is turned back on them. This only affects spells that have the stormfist as a target. Effect and area spells are not affected. This ability also fails to stop touch range spells.
|21st||Strike Bonus +5|
|22nd||Bonus Style Point|
|24th||Bonus Style Point|
|25th||Strike Bonus +6|
|26th||Bonus Style Point|
|28th||Bonus Style Point|
|29th||Strike Bonus +7|
|30th||Bonus Style Point|
4 + Int modifier skill points per level.
Martial Styles: The stormfist's primary martial style ceases to gain style points. Upon reaching 21st level, the way the Stormfist calculates style level in all her combat styles changes. Rather than the number of points in a style +½ stormfist level, she uses the number of points in a style + stormfist level - 10.
Bonus Style Points: The Stormfist continues to gain bonus style points at each even level.
Strike Bonus: The stormfist's strike bonuses continue to accrue at the same rate.
Bonus Feats: The epic stormfist gains a bonus feat (selected from the list of epic stormfist bonus feats) at 23rd level and every 4 levels thereafter.
Epic Stormfist Bonus Feat List: Blinding Speed, Damage Reduction, Energy Resistance, Epic Prowess, Epic Skill Focus, Epic Speed, Epic Toughness, Exceptional Deflection, Extended Life Span, Fast Healing, Improved Combat Reflexes, Improved Ki Strike, Improved Spell Resistance, Improved Stunning Fist, Infinite Deflection, Keen Strike, Legendary Climber, Legendary Wrestler, Reflect Arrows, Righteous Strike, Spellcasting Harrier.
Human Stormfist Starting Package
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
|Sleight of Hand||4||Dex||—|
Feat: Combat Style Aptitude.
Bonus Feats: Improved Initiative.
Gear: Backpack with water skin, Bedroll, Blanket, three days' trail rations, block and tackle, fishing hook, flint and steel, and two torches.
Gold: 10 gp.
Playing a Stormfist
Religion: While stormfists may respect the power and influence of gods, religious study distracts and sometimes confuses the inner path that they walk. Most stormfists do not follow gods, but if they do, it's less likely to be because of that god's specific portfolio, and more likely to be those gods who elevated themselves to godhood by merits or effort that the stormfist personally admires.
Other Classes: Stormfists get along with other classes whose power comes from self-reliance, such as psions, monks, fighters, rangers, druids, and rogues. Many regard wizards poorly, since their power comes from the study of minutiae of the external world rather than personal hardship. They also tend to have misgivings about clerics and paladins, whose powers come from devotion to an external entity.
Combat: With high saves, good damage output, and good mobility, the stormfist's job is always in the thick of combat. That job may vary based on how the stormfist chooses to allocate their style points, however. Some are best when moving through crowds of weaker enemies, clearing a path through them. Some are better at punching through enemy defenses and striking at critical targets. Others try to focus fire away from their teammates, moving in to support them in combat when able.
Advancement: Most stormfist abilities are self-contained, and advance on their own with style level increases. Most would rather develop their stormfist abilities to their fullest potential, rather than pursuing another class.
Stormfists in the World
|“||Mankind is sublimely adaptable, when it comes to making death. Men have made weapons of steel, weapons of their own minds, of beasts, of knowledge, names, even music. I am no different. I have made a weapon of myself.||”|
|—Harkess Farpath, human stormfist|
A stormfist does not have to rely on anything or anyone but themselves. If stripped of all items or even of all allies, a stormfist still possesses an immense quantity of personal power. For some, this fact is incidental to their growth in the discipline, but for many, it is the reason for it. It is often the case that something in a stormfist's past led them to discover that relying on others is bad for them, or that inability to rely on oneself is bad for others.
Daily Life: A stormfist's life often involves hardship of one sort or another, but frequently this hardship is self-imposed. Stormfists strive to overcome difficulty at all times, due to the belief that doing so makes them more powerful. Stormfists do not often get comfortable in one place or profession.
Most stormfists begin their journey in poverty; one of the benefits of fighting without armor or weapons is that you don't need to be able to afford them to defend yourself. Some train on the streets or in the wilderness, or fight for the entertainment of others to earn their living.
Notables: Disa Belkin, best known for being the first halfling in recent memory to punch a hill giant in half.
Organizations: Monastic training leads some to the path of the stormfist, but many reach the conclusion on their own. Stormfists do not often have dedicated training grounds or meet with one another on matters of their discipline.
NPC Reactions: Individual stormfists may display wildly variable abilities from one another based on how they advance their martial styles. They are also not particularly more likely to associate with another stormfist solely based on the fact that they share the class. Additionally, they don't sport weapons, armor, spellbooks, holy symbols, staffs, or any other accessories that would make them easily identifiable as a stormfist. Because of these facts, NPCs don't often have an opinion about an individual based on the class as a whole, if they even know what class the stormfist is to begin with.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (arcana) can research stormfists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Stormfists fight with their bodies instead of weapons or armor.|
|10||Stormfists choose different abilities which can make them very different from one another.|
|15||Stormfists don't normally cast spells, but they usually appear to be supernatural.|
|20||Stormfists have many powers making them faster than normal, dangerous in close quarters, and difficult to effectively damage, but they are unlikely to have ways to attack at range.|
Stormfists in the Game
For many players, the concept of the unarmed, unarmored, semi-magical martial artist is appealing. The monk class fills that role admirably in flavor, but players of monk characters often find that their abilities are very underwhelming mechanically when compared to those granted by almost any other class (even some NPC classes). Such players often find that they have to struggle with the system, "optimizing" their build to advance their character in a way that just makes them barely able to remain relevant compared to even highly unoptimized members of classes like the druid or cleric, and often wind up undermining the core concept they had for the character to do so.
The stormfist class is, in many ways, an upgraded monk. Several of the stormfist's possible abilities mirror the monk's abilities, and the stormfist can still fill the same role in flavor and characterization with little issue. However, the stormfist class represents a significant increase in power over the monk class, which should make it easier to stay in line with other classes like swordsages or psions with the same level of optimization. In games intended to be lower-power, where classes like the Wizard are banned or reduced in power, you should compare the stormfist to the power level of the other character options that have been banned to determine whether or not they should be allowed.
This increase in effective power also allows the stormfist to fill roles in the narrative that the monk could not. For example, a monk antagonist might be a little harder to actually kill than the average NPC, but it would be difficult to make that antagonist actually present a threat to the players, even players at a much lower level than the monk. However, the stormfist would be a much more effective antagonistic force, and would likely present an appropriate challenge to the players.
Adaptation: The self-centered framework for the class presented here is one of many possible ways this set of abilities could be interpreted. For example, the stormfist could be drawing on some strange eldritch power that grants her more power than most mortals. She could be the chosen of a god which grants her skills in exchange for tasks in his service. Perhaps she is a disciple of a rigorous psionic combat style. She could be favored by some primal natural force of evolution, the subject of a strange reality glitch, or share the bloodline of a powerful extraplanar entity.
Sample Encounter: The Kobold, Raka Vashohk, never felt at home in the warrens of his clan. He would rather find his own hoard than serve the whims of a vicious dragon. Thinking himself mighty enough to defend himself on the open road, he set off to find adventure. What he found, however, was a small village ruled over by a dismissive human baron. The local baron, upon hearing that an unarmed, unarmored Kobold was at his doorstep and demanding all of his riches, told his town guard to "just kill the wretched thing and don't bother me about it again." He was rather surprised only minutes later to find that very same kobold in the act of punching down the western wing of his manor with his tiny bare fists.
|Male Kobold Stormfist 9|
|CN Small humanoid (reptilian)|
|Init/Senses||+8/Darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +8, Spot +10|
|AC||23, touch 22, flat-footed 16|
(+1 size, +4 Dex, +1 natural (kobold), +3 dodge (sense danger), +4 (striking discipline))
|hp||81 (9 HD)|
|Speed||55 ft. (11 squares)|
|Melee||unarmed strike +14 (3d6+4/18-20 slashing or cold), unarmed strike +14/+14 (3d6+4/18-20 slashing or cold) with double blow, unarmed strike +14/+14/+14 (3d6+4/18-20 slashing or cold) with frenzied blow, or unarmed strike +19 (3d8+4/15-20 slashing or cold) with ravaging blow|
|Special Actions||Double blow, frenzied blow, or ravaging blow 9/day (use 2 for frenzied blow), primal strike|
|Abilities||Str 8 (12 base, -4 racial), Dex 19 (15 base, +2 racial, +2 enhancement (gloves of dexterity)), Con 16 (14 base, -2 racial, +2 enhancement (amulet of health)), +2 levels), Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8|
|SQ||Critical strike, echoing critical, fleet spirit (1 point, style level 5), heightened agility, light sensitivity, martial styles (overpowering force primary), nimble combatant (1 point, style level 7), overpowering force (5 points, style level 9), path of resilience (1 point, style level 5), primal ward (fire assumed), sense danger, strike bonus +2, striking discipline (lacerating discipline assumed), unarmed mastery, weavebreaker (2 points, style level 6)|
|Feats||Dense Fists, Improved Initiative, Improved Unarmed Strike, Martial Style Aptitude (weavebreaker), Martial Style Focus (nimble combatant), Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)|
|Skills||Balance +5, Craft (trapmaking) +2 (racial), Bluff +3, Hide +4 (size), Jump +12, Listen +7, Profession (miner) +2 (racial), Search +2 (racial), Spot +9, Tumble +12|
|Possessions||Amulet of Health +2, Belt of Bodily Mastery, Gloves of Dexterity +2|