Way of the Perfect Blade (5e Subclass)
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Kyotoryu Perfect Blade
Monk Subclass that uses hand-to-hand combat to destroy the opposition and their weapons. The original grandmasters were thus recruited by differing royals and kingdoms to fight in wars and inevitably against each other. Due to the conflict of masters forced to fight against themselves, or risk treason against their lords, the Kyotoryu style was forbidden and forced away into meditation, owing to its destructive nature. Without it, military, magic and weaponry were allowed to flourish and the old masters each created a variant to the style to teach on their own. The various monk styles of the world are descendants of this original style, and the monasteries of each of these old masters gradually became ancient and forgotten.
Monks of the Kyotoryu (Ghastly Nine Sword) are few and far between, masters of martial arts combat that wish to uncover the old ways. They spend their childhood and adolescence in solitude learning to push their bodies to the limits to form their bodies into the perfect blade, able to strike with their hands and feet to cut their foes and break even the toughest weapons. They hone themselves like a blacksmith hones a sword and are notoriously determined cold-hearted (lacking emotion, good or bad) and often don't understand the ways of the world.
The Kyo warrior flows through battle like leaves falling to the ground, and finds the perfect strikes effortlessly. This class is meant to more effectively replace the Way of the Open Hand and replace some of the base monk abilities. It takes its inspiration from the Shichika Yasuri style from the novel/anime Katanagatari.
- Pale Petal
Starting at 3rd level, you learn the Pale Petal strikes, modifying your flurry of blows to manipulate the battlefield. Your flurry of blows attacks deal +1 to attack and damage bonus and a +1 crit mod. Whenever you hit a creature with one of the attacks granted by your Flurry of Blows, you can impose one of the following effects on that target:
Rose - Creature makes a Dexterity save or knocked prone and next attack deals +1d6 dmg (sweeping kick with flying downward kick strike)
Violet - Creature makes a Strength save or pushed up to 15ft away and may follow up in the space (double palm strike to the chest) for free
Bellflower - Creature can’t take reactions and you can attempt to immediately grapple it (extended hand strike then crosses opponent's arms behind their back)
- First Stance - Lily of the Valley
Starting at 6th level, you take full advantage of the crippling effects of your blows.
On a critical hit, based on the attack, you may impose the following effects on the target. With 2 attacks per action, and 2 more during a flurry of blows, the basis is:
On the first attack - Next attack crits on a 19-20 On the second attack - Gain step of the wind for free to Dash or Disengage
On the third attack - Regain 1 Ki point
On the fourth attack - You may make an unarmed strike for free again, if you continue to crit on these, keep making unarmed strikes until you no longer crit.
- Second Stance - Iris Feint
Starting at 9th level, tuck into a sprinter stance and dive around the battlefield, blinding your opponent with intense speed that creates distracting illusions. The afterimages left behind by your Iris Feint create openings for your strikes.
Spend 5 Ki points as an action to cast an enhanced step of the wind (Iris Feint) that lasts 1 turn. For the duration, gain the effects of the Mirror Image spell, and can take the Dash or Disengage action as a bonus action.
In addition, your Patient Defense becomes Falling Blossom, gaining the following feature:
Falling Blossom - if a creature's melee attack against you misses, you can use your reaction to make an attack against it
- Third Stance - Chrysanthemum Bladebreaker
Starting at 11th level, your body is honed enough that it can destroy even the toughest of weapons. Catching the blade of the attacker between the crooks of your elbows and your back, you crack the weapon across your backside. Can spend 3 Ki points as an action (or reaction if melee attack on you misses) to catch the blade.
The attacking creature makes a Constitution or Strength save or weapon is damaged permanently. On a successful save, the target gains -1 to attack and damage bonus, and on a fail the target gains -3 to attack and damage bonus and has disadvantage on attack rolls for next turn using the weapon. At 17th level, the bonus increases to -3 on a save, and -5 on a fail.
Additionally, your Stunning Strike becomes Scattered Blossom, an overhead axe kick to the top of the head gaining the following feature:
Scattered Blossom - deal an additional 2d8 necrotic damage on a failed save against the stun.
- Fourth Stance - Red Poppy
At 17th level, your nails have been sharpened and your bones naturally hardened through combat to pierce the enemies armor and body, striking straight for the heart.
If you hit a creature at least 4 times in a turn, you can spend 5 Ki points to quickly strike into the heart of the creature, creating a spray of blood and following up with a devastating series of strikes. The creature makes a Constitution save at disadvantage. On a successful save, the creature takes 5d10 piercing damage immediately, and on a failed save takes 8d10 piercing damage and has their AC reduced by 2 as you pierce their armor.
- Zero Stance - Fated Tree
At 20th level, you learn the sacred and secret Zero Stance. The stance itself has no form at all, and is used to confuse and predict your opponent's next move. Take no stance and wait to predict opponent’s moves, reacting to their stance while being impossible to predict yourself. This ability replaces the level 20 ability from the original monk class.
Do nothing at all on your turn (forego action, bonus action, and movement), but gain 3 reactions until start of next turn. During this time, all of your attacks have advantage and attacks on you have disadvantage.
A reaction can be used to make 2 opportunity attacks if any creature moves out of range. Can also use a reaction to move (until you move up to half your movement speed).
Additionally, you also gain the Sacred Zero Stance (1/Long rest), a zero stance that absorbs the force of the enemy into your own. During this enhanced version of the stance, any attacks on you that miss, you regain 1 Ki point. At the start of your next turn, take 1 level of exhaustion.