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kanachi
2006-10-18, 08:03 AM
I never really liked the samurai class offered by wizards so I’ve always wanted to try to piece my own together from viewing my favourite films of reading my favourite books containing samurai. The samurai represented here is relies strongly on engaging and defeating a single target at a time rather than simply wailing into combat, this is done through the selection and defeating of marks. Also I wanted to approach the samurai in a bit more of a flexible manor, not all samurai were paladins, this class therefore allows for the rarer breed of non lawful samurai. I am sure it’s got numerous bugs but see what you think and please comment as you see fit. Thank you!

Also I would like to note that though this class is called Samurai it could easily be used to represent a Ronin, Kensai or otherwise similar master of sword play. You could adjust the flavour here to meet the needs of nearly any warrior class that relies on challenging and defeating their foes individually – it does not even really need to be a swordsman.

Basically what I’m offering here is a possible mechanic to allow you all to make something resembling a samurai without being restricted into any singular vision. You can make a fast, powerful, cunning or simple samurai with relative freedom.

I would like to thank all those who have posted here and inspired me to ever improve this class, thank you. Finally I would also like to credit the two feats (Insightful Offence and Wisened Defence) to Serakus_DeSardis which I feel offer a lot to the classes potential, thank you for allowing me to display your feats here.

Samurai

Abilities

Samurai often rely on a blend of strength, constitution and dexterity to defeat their foes however wisdom is also very important to a samurai, allowing her to gain the largest possible bonus from her look twice ability. Charisma can be useful to a samurai in allowing her to move within a battlefield unchallenged (using her intimidating combatant ability). Finally an intelligent samurai often becomes far more than a simple warrior and branches into more creative past times such as art, calligraphy or diplomatic relations.

Alignment: any non chaotic
Hit Dice: d8

Class skills

The samurai’s class skills (and key abilities for each) are: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Bonsai) (Int), Craft (Painting) (Int), Craft (Writing) (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Poetry) (Cha), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis) and Swim (Str).

Skill points at first level: (4 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill points at each additional level: 4 + Int Modifier

Weapon and armour proficiencies

A samurai is proficient with all simple weapons, the Glaive, Guisarme, Halberd, Ranseur, longbow (including composite), short bow (including composite), Tanto, wakizashi, katana, Nagamaki, Naginata and Odachi. At third level a samurai may wield a katana in one hand without penalty (as a one-handed melee weapon).

A samurai is proficient with all armours but not shields. A samurai who uses a shield will not benefit from her blade of the samurai, cut once, Ken-Jutsu or Greater Ken-Jutsu abilities whilst doing so.

Samurai Progression Table

{table=head]Level|Base AttackBonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Save Bonus|Special
1st|
+1|
0|
0|
0|
+1|Mark (Way of the Samurai), Weapon Focus
2nd|
+2|
0|
0|
0|
+0|Mark (Look Twice)
3rd|
+3|
1|
1|
1|
+1|Mark (Cut Once +1d6)
4th|
+4|
1|
1|
1|
+0|Bu-Jutsu
5th|
+5|
1|
1|
1|
+1|Intimidating Combatant, The Formal Arts (+2)
6th|
+6/+1|
2|
2|
2|
+0|-
7th|
+7/+2|
2|
2|
2|
+1|Mark (Cut Once +2d6)
8th|
+8/+3|
2|
2|
2|
+0|Greater Weapon Focus (Choice)
9th|
+9/+4|
3|
3|
3|
+1|Path of the Samurai
10th|
+10/+5|
3|
3|
3|
+0|Additional Mark
11th|
+11/+6/+1|
3|
3|
3|
+1|Mark (Cut Once +3d6)
12th|
+12/+7/+2|
4|
4|
4|
+0|Greater Bu-Jutsu
13th|
+13/+8/+3|
4|
4|
4|
+1|Mark (Pass Through)
14th|
+14/+9/+4|
4|
4|
4|
+0|The Formal Arts (+4)
15th|
+15/+10/+5|
5|
5|
5|
+1|Mark (Cut Once +4d6), Greater Path of the Samurai
16th|
+16/+11/+6/+1|
5|
5|
5|
+0|The Formal Arts (+6)
17th|
+17/+12/+7/+2|
5|
5|
5|
+1|-
18th|
+18/+13/+8/+3|
6|
6|
6|
+0|The Formal Arts (+8)
19th|
+19/+14/+9/+4|
6|
6|
6|
+1|Mark (Cut Once +5d6)
20th|
+20/+15/+10/+5|
6|
6|
6|
+0|Additional Mark[/table]

[B]Mark

A samurai is a master of observation, able to study and adjust her stance mid-combat in order to counter her opponent’s actions. Once a samurai’s focus turns to a target she can often dispatch it with a singular deadly movement.

As a free action (or immediate action, see bellow) a samurai may select a single target within 30 feet as her mark. Once a samurai has selected a mark she must slay or defeat it (by forcing its withdrawal or submission within combat). Should she fail somehow to defeat her mark, by being forced to retreat herself for example, she may not select another mark for 24 hours.

A samurai may only select targets that would normally be subject to the effects of precision damage to be her mark, therefore the undead, oozes and constructs are all immune to this ability (should she acquire an ability, such as grave strike, that allows precision damage against such targets she will become able to mark them).

Once selected a samurai gains numerous advantages over her mark that a common fighter would lack. These abilities improve over time and when combined can allow the samurai to dispatch entire regiments of lesser foes as well as more than match powerful ones.

Should a mark be slain or defeated by a samurai a new mark may be chosen as an immediate action. If for some reason the mark perishes or is defeated before the samurai can act she may select a new mark as a free or immediate action.

[B]Save Bonus

The exact make up of a successful Samurai is never easily identified, many are forged with great resilience while others rely more upon sharp reflexes and reaction several are highly regarded for their incredible levels of inner strength. Because of this a samurai periodically gains a single point every two levels which can be added to any of the three save types (fortitude, reflex or will) she chooses. Once a point is added to a save it cannot be undone, however there is no obligation for the next point to be added to the same save as the one previously chosen.

Way of the samurai

At a young age a samurai masters the technical of challenging and defeating her foes one at a time, picking apart enemy formations slowly by surely with an unmatched level of technical skill that boarders on artistry. Most practice their combat styles repetitively with a single weapon, endlessly practicing complex katas that improve their effectiveness with the weapon in question beyond the simple skills of lesser combatants.

At 1st level the samurai may select a single weapon with which she is proficient. When using this weapon against her mark she is considered to have the critical threat range of her attacks doubled. This expansion to the weapons threat range does not stack with Keen weapons or the Improved Critical feat.

Later at 7th level the samurai may select a second weapon with which their critical threat range doubles. Finally at 13th level they may select a third such weapon.

Weapon Focus

At 1st level samurai gains the weapon focus feat as a bonus feat, it may be selected for a single weapons that she is proficient with.


Look Twice


At 2nd level the samurai has learned great patience and will often wait for her adversaries to come to her rather than commit to the first action herself. The samurai may add her wisdom modifier (minimum of +1) to all attacks and damage rolls made against her mark through attacks of opportunity. This bonus to attack and damage rolls may not exceed a total equal to half her class level, thus at 2nd level a samurai may add a maximum of +1 while a 10th level samurai may add a maximum of +5.

In addition if a samurai’s mark enters the samurai’s threatened area they will be subject to an attack of opportunity. A samurai may only gain this attack of opportunity against her mark on a turn where she has not moved from their current position (by any means). It’s also important to note that this attack of opportunity is a bonus to any standard attacks of opportunity a samurai may already have. A samurai will also only gain 1 such bonus attack of opportunity per mark per round (thus it’s not possible to gain multiple bonus attacks of opportunity against a mark that enters, move out of and then re-enters the samurai’s threatened area).

Cut Once


At 3rd level the samurai cuts threw her adversaries with ease often dismembering numerous assailants in swift succession. The samurai incurs an additional 1d6 points of damage to the first successful attack against her mark each round. This bonus to damage will increase every 4 levels thereafter (+2d6 at 7th level, +3d6 at 11th level, +4d6 at 15th level and +5d6 at 19th level).

Bu-Jutsu

At 4th level tireless recital of complex katas has turned the samurai fighting style into a true (and deadly) art form. The samurai may select any 3 weapons with which she is proficient and gain a +2 bonus to her damage rolls when using them. Once these weapons are selected the decision can not be reversed.

Later, at 12th level the samurai will receive the greater bu-jutsu ability and thus gain an additional +2 bonus to damage when using these weapons.

Intimidating Combatant

At 5th level samurai’s mere presence can often force those around her into a defensive position which she can use to her advantage to manoeuvre into more strategic positions. A Samurai may attempt to move at half her base land speed through threatened squares if she’s able to successfully pass a DC 15 intimidate check. This ability acts much as if the samurai had the tumble skill however she uses her intimidate skill instead of tumble skill to successfully bypass her adversaries.

A samurai may attempt to move at her full speed (much like a rouge performing an accelerated tumble, albeit with greater difficulty) using her ability to intimidate her foes by accepting a -15 penalty on the check.

Unlike a character using the tumble skill a samurai’s ability to intimidate is not effected by terrain or weather conditions.

A samurai who has 5 or more ranks in both the tumble skill (having gained via a different class for example) and the intimidate skill gains a +2 competency bonus to both skills when using them to avoid attacks of opportunity.

A knights 5th level ability, vigilant defender, functions against a samurais using this ability. The increase to DC affects a samurai’s intimidate skill just as it would a rogue’s ability to tumble.

The Formal Arts

At 5th level the samurai begins to truly form into not only a mighty warrior but also a skilled diplomat and artist. A samurai gains a +2 competency bonus to her craft (Bonsai), Craft (painting), Craft (Writing), diplomacy, perform (poetry) and ride skills. It’s not however until much later in a Samurai’s development that she truly begins to master such skills. At 14th, 16th and 18th levels the bonus to such skills increases by 2 incrementally (+4 at 14th level, +6 at 16th level and +8 at 18th level).


Greater Weapon Focus

At 8th level a samurai gains the greater weapon focus feat as a bonus feat. The feat may only be applied to whichever weapon she chose for her bonus weapon focus feat (see above).


Path of the Samurai

At 9th level a samurai tends to follow one of five paths, that of the earth, water, fire, wind and the heavens. A samurai must pick one of these paths and may not change the decision once it has been taken. Later at 15th level a samurai’s chosen path will allow them access to numerous specialised abilities.

The path of the earth takes the samurai on an inner journey where they are said to discover true enlightenment. A samurai who follows this path may automatically pass a single will save once per day, the samurai must however declare their desire to use this ability before any dice are rolled.

Water represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. It refuses to be confined or hindered by physical restraints and allows a samurai who follows such a path to move with greater confidence and agility than she may otherwise be capable. A Samurai who follows this path moves at her base land speed when wearing medium and heavy armours and ignores up to 5 points of any armour check penalty she may have when performing balance, climb or jump checks.

A samurai who follows the path of the fire is a fierce and unnerving adversary. A samurai who opts to follow this path gains half her class level to any intimidate checks she makes as a competency bonus and a +2 bonus to all grapple checks.

The path of the wind takes the samurai into the shadows, where they often act as way watchers and scouts, sometimes even infiltrating enemy lines to better challenge and defeat their quarry. Some may consider such activities beneath a samurai’s code of honour, however several samurai regard such actions as a simple reality of life, warfare and intelligent combat. A samurai who follows this path may add half her class level (to a maximum of 6) to both her hide and move silently checks as a competency bonus. In addition the samurai also gains both the hide and move silently skill as class skills and may track her mark as though she had the track feat.

The path of the heavens sees the samurai realise her potential as a leader of men and a skilled tactician in battle. A samurai who follows this path gains the leadership feat and a +2 bonus to her leadership score. If the samurai already has the leadership feat she gains an additional +2 bonus to her leadership score.


Additional Mark

At 10th level a samurai can mark an additional target that may then also fall victim to her numerous skills. Later at 20th level she may mark a third target.

Greater Bu-Jutsu

At 12th level a samurai’s deadly fighting skill is legend, the samurai adds an additional +2 to damage when using any of the 3 weapons she previously selected with her (see above).

Pass Through

At 13th level a samurai drives through her victims once slain, leaving their ruptured bodies in her wake as she presses on to engage her next foe. If a samurai slays her mark she may move to up to 10 feet as a free action that provokes no attacks of opportunity. This movement must be performed immediately after the slaying of samurais mark and may be performed as an immediate action. This additional movement does is not count towards a samurais regular movement quota. A samurai may not combine this movement with a bull rush or otherwise attempt to end her turn on an already occupied square.


Greater Path of The Samurai

At 15th level a samurai has followed their path to near conclusion. A samurai gains a specialised power based upon the path they elected to follow at 9th level.

A samurai who reaches such a level of mastery when following the path of earth may re-role any will saves made against mind affecting or fear related checks (including Confusion, Charm and similar such spells). A samurai using this ability may only re-role a failed will save once for each such situation and must accept the result of the re-role even if its result is worse than the initial roll.

A follower of the path of water ignores her entire armour check penalty when attempting balance, climb or jump checks. In addition a samurai who follows this path may move unhindered though any form of terrain that would normally reduce her movement, however terrain which has been magically altered to affect ones movement will still do so. Despite its name the path of water does not allow a samurai to move unhindered though terrain that requires either a swim or climb check (though she will still ignore any armour check penalty when climbing).

One who has taken the path of fire to such a level of mastery has an indomitable presence upon the battle field. The samurai may opt to exchange her dexterity modifier to AC for an equal bonus to any attack and damage roles made against her mark until the beginning of her next round. A Samurai must firstly have a dexterity modifier to AC in order to be able to sacrifice it and secondly must be in a situation where her dexterity modifier would normally grant a bonus to AC (not when pinned for example).

When a samurai takes the path of wind to such a level of mastery they become masters of the shadows and some often considered them akin to shinobi or even ninja; a statement that most other samurai would detest. The samurai gains blindsense to a distance of 30ft or increases the effective distance of any existing blindsense she already posses by 30ft (see page 305 of the Monster Manual). In addition the samurai gains both the camouflage and swift tracker abilities (see page 48 of the Players Handbook). It’s important to note however that a samurai who does not have the Track feat still has to mark her quarry before she can track it effectively.

A samurai who has followed the path of the heavens to such a level of mastery often leads from the heart of a battle, her every victory inspiring those around her to perform ever greater deeds. Any ally’s turn which follows that of a samurai who’s mark has just been defeated gains a competency bonus to their attacks equal to the samurai’s charisma modifier (minimum of +1). The samurai must be directly responsible for defeating her mark (scoring the fatal damage or forcing it to flee or submit) in order for her allies to gain this bonus. Allies must also be within 5ft for every 2 levels of samurai the samurai possesses.

Feats

Defensive Mobility

Prerequisite:
Samurai, may only be taken at first level.

Bonus:
The samurai has trained from a young age at dodging blows rather than wearing heavy armours to absorb them. This training has granted her a sixth sense that allows her to avoid even unanticipated attacks.

When un-armoured and unencumbered, a samurai so trained may add her wisdom modifier to her Armour Class. This feat does not stack with the comparable abilities of the monk (or that of any similar class, such as the ninja).

In addition, the samurai will gain a +1 bonus to AC at 5th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every five samurai levels thereafter (+2 at 10th level, +3 at 15th level and +4 at 20th level).

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when a samurai is flat-footed. The samurai loses these bonuses when she is immobilized or helpless, when she wears any armour, when she carries a shield or when she carries a medium or heavy load.



Insightful Offence Credits for this feat go to Serakus_DeSardis


An insightful warrior makes intuitive strikes.


Prerequisites:
BAB +5, Int 13+


Benefits:
You may add your Int bonus to a single attack roll each round. You must declare this bonus before the rolls.


Wisened Defence Credits for this feat go to Serakus_DeSardis


The wise veteran has seen many battles.


Prerequisites:
BAB +5, Wis 13+


Benefits:
You may add your Wis bonus to your AC for a single attack each round. You must declare this bonus before the rolls.

Hakama Proficiency

It’s rare indeed for non-samurai to take on the specialised training required to use a hakama effectively in combat. Often such individuals will have observed a samurai training in the use of a hakama and through keen observation mastered its secrets.

Prerequisites:
Intelligance score of 13+

Benefits:
The character may use a Hakama as though she had 1 or more levels in the samurai class.

Equipment

This section contains the rules for various weapons, armours and other equipment of importance to a samurai.

Weapons

A samurai may employ several weapons upon the field of battle. Bellow is a list of those most not ordinarily represented within the Players Handbook. Please note that while the katana is indeed listed here as a two-handed weapon it can be used one handed once a samurai attains third level or if a samurai acquires the necessary exotic weapon feat prior to that time.

Light Melee Weapon



{table=head]Name|Cost|Dmg(S)|Dmg(M)|Critical|Range Increment|Weight|Type|Special
Tanto|
300gp|
1d3|
1d4|
19–20/x2|
10ft|
1lb.|
Slashing|Masterwork
Wakizashi|
300gp|
1d4|
1d6|
19–20/x2|
—|
3lb.|
Slashing|Masterwork[/table]

[B]Two Handed Melee Weapon


{table=head]Name|Cost|Dmg(S)|Dmg(M)|Critical|Range [br]Increment|Weight|Type|Special
Katana|
400gp|
1d8|
1d10|
19–20/x2|
—|
6lb.|
Slashing|Masterwork
Nagamaki|
8gp|
1d6|
2d4|
x3|
—|
10lb.|
Slashing|—
Naginata|
10gp|
1d8|
1d10|
x3|
—|
15lb.|
Slashing|10 foot reach, non adjacent
Odachi|
600gp|
1d10|
2d6|
19–20/x2|
—|
8lb.|
Slashing|Masterwork[/table]

Items

Hakama

A Hakama is a kind of skirt worn by a samurai to hide her footwork from her enemies during combat. When used correctly a Hakama can severally weakening the ability of a samurai’s opponent to predict her next move.

A samurai wearing a Hakama reduces her marks dexterity bonus to AC by 1. A character whom does not poses 1 or more levels in the samurai class may still wear a Hakama but will gain no benefit from doing so.

Cost: 25gp
Weight: 2lb.

Khantalas
2006-10-18, 08:52 AM
Suggestion: Since some of the prestige classes and feats require base save bonuses, you should give leave the saves bonus progression empty if you want to have an effect similar to what I think you're trying to do and give one or two choice of good saves.

Also, I think you should not have Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat. You can have a class feature that says "The samurai receives a +2 bonus on damage rolls when wielding his tanto, wakizashi, katana or o-dachi", but not give the feat per se. It is one of the fighter class's advantages (and now, warblades), effectively creating fighter specific feats and prestige classes. Another class having it makes fighter a poorer option (although there's still Greater Weapon Specialization). Feats can be limited by saying "Prerequisite: Fighter Level *th", but prestige classes cannot.

About the class feature "Pass Through": You mention a "iaijutsu strike". I know what iaijustsu means, but without having Quick Draw as a feat, it cannot be represented in the game. If you're referring to another class feature, please correct that. If you're not, please explain what you mean.

About the class feature "Swift Blade Strike": Death saves usually require a successful Fort save, although considering the word "swift" in the feature's name, that is OK. However, basing the save DC on attack bonus is not. If you meant "base attack bonus", you should say so. I would, however, consider "DC = constant number + 1/2 samurai's class level + attack damage". It would add randomness to the DC, which may be bad. If you insist on attack bonus, at least add "base".

You should explain the term "interrupt action". You may have done this, and I may have missed it, that's fine. But if you didn't, you should do so. You can replace it "immediate action" or "swift action", however, "immedaite action" sounds more like it seeing how you use it.

About cultural references: I'm not the greatest fan of Japanese history. While I like the tone of it, I much prefer wuxia. However, shuriken was considered a dishonorable weapon for a samurai to use in feudal times. The kukri also suffers from a similar drawback. And while samurai traditionally don't use shields, you should not prevent a character from taking a feat not by using a prerequisite of the feat. They may not be able to use class features if they use it as you've already stated, but don't prevent a class from taking a feat that doesn't state "Prerequisite: Class name level *th" or "Prerequisite: Class feature name".

Also, feudal Japan had a strictly lawful society, and samurai were the nobles of the society. There are no "chaotic" samurai running around. While "chaotic" people possessed similar abilites, they were called "ronin" or "bushi", not samurai. So I agree with Wizards on that matter.

I like the flavor, but it strays far from history at some places, lacks explanation at others, and takes two of the greatest assets of fighter (a third being the sheer number of bonus feats, which luckily the samurai here doesn't have). I don't like the Complete Warrior samurai, so I still use the Oriental Adventures version. I am not the best class builder, either, so I never tried making a version myself. It takes skill and work to do what you did. If this one gets better, I might change my version after all.

Catharsis
2006-10-18, 12:42 PM
First of all, I like the principles of the class, it's certainly better than the Complete Warrior Samurai.

I don't like the "save or die" ability, it's too strong. Sure, it only works against one enemy at a time, and only when he makes the "mistake" of walking into your reach. But since marking an enemy is an immediate action, you can pick off any enemy that charges you, one after the other. After all, charging into melee range is the most common behavior of any melee foe. Too strong.

Instead, I would suggest passing out the Quick Draw feat for free, and later an Improved Quick Draw feat that allows you to catch an opponent flat-footed when you quickdraw (he gets a Reflex save).

Also, I'd make the Fortitude save strong, and not use the save bonus mechanic. If you want, you can allow the player to choose between Iron Will and Lightning Reflexes as bonus feats at some stage. Then, however, I'd take away the Greater Weapon Specialization (and maybe the regular one too) to avoid bonus feat overload. Maybe pass out Greater Weapon Focus instead.

DoomHat
2006-10-18, 01:18 PM
I like it a lot. Though I donít feel the craft skills are really appropriate, not even in terms of a fiction style samurai. Making weapons is a life consuming study and is thus delegated to blacksmiths, as samurai are expected spend the majority of their time learning to USE those weapons.

Also could you please make some mention of Ronin so as to shut up the people who canít except that a Swordsman by any other name kills just as elegantly!

Khantalas
2006-10-18, 01:25 PM
I have no problem with the name Kensai, even if there's a prestige class named that, this one sounds much like them. However, I'll always have a problem with non-lawful samurai, even if you mention ronin in the class description. Of course, that's just me. Others may be fine with it, and it has no bearing on game mechanics whatsoever. I'll just change the name if I adopt it, and voila!

And do you refer to Swift Blade Strike when you say Iaijutsu Strike? I just thought about that and it made sense. Huh.

knightsaline
2006-10-19, 07:05 AM
I like this one. I do own the book complete warrior and really do not like its version of the samurai (oriental-flavored knights is what i get from that book). I prefer the silent assassin type of samurai, but then again, my exposure to samurai in fiction is auron, the otori trilogy, the first book of lone wolf and child and samurai champloo. I would love to see perform (break dancing) as a class skill or perform (weapon drill). any chance of a code of honor? i need someone to compile all the samurai classes this board have created so it does not die in the board migration

kanachi
2006-10-19, 11:08 AM
sorry about not sorting out the numerious problems/issues and so forth concerning this class that you have all raised. I'm getting ready for a holliday to spain and i've not really had time to make the changes i want to. I sadly wont be back for a week and doubt i will have access to the internet :(

but keep your ideas coming in as they really do help. I'll try my best to either update the class before i leave or when i come back. Also if any of you want to use any of the ideas of mechanics here for your own samurai style posts thats fine as well, the objective is to try to FINALLY make a samurai that actuall fits the bill. Personally i think this is best done with a certain amount of flexability (the points to save system for example - something i would consider moving into other classes as it helps customisation of characters, but thats for another post).

Thankyou all for showing interest in the idea :)

Squangos
2006-10-31, 09:20 AM
i need someone to compile all the samurai classes this board have created so it does not die in the board migration

Already done. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10908) Though to be fair, it is missing at least one Samurai class since the member who came up with it can't give his permission since he left.

kanachi
2006-11-15, 06:30 PM
Finally got round to updating my samurai base class!

I decided ultimately to remove swift blade strike ability and instead replaced it with the path of samurai, which allows for greater customisation and individuality of a samurai. This ability will hopefully allow people to make a number of differing samurai’s who can fit the large variety of different visions people have as to what exactly a samurai is or should be like.

I’ve also made a number of changes based on the great advice you all gave me when you made your reviews, so thank you to everyone who has helped me.

I’d also like to make a new first level only feat for the samurai that allows you to gain an AC bonus similar to (but not as good as) that of the monk so people can play as an un-armoured samurai if they so desire.

I’m sorry for the long wait in my re-vamping of this class I hope you all like it :)

Oh and also if you want to add me to your list Squangos that would be more than fine by me!

Coffee_Cream
2006-11-16, 07:05 AM
I like this a lot, the marking system is quite an interesting way of doing a samurai class.

You should probably also make another path "lion" or something that grants the samurai a bonus to leadership, this would let your samurai become a DaimyŰ or something.

Also some form of AC bonus is going to be a must if you intend this class to survive un-armoured Ė which is probably how I would play it.

kanachi
2006-11-16, 11:06 AM
Great idea on the path of the Lion! I like that alot and as such have added it, it may need to be looked at before it can be considered balanced though.

I've also added a feat that the samurai can take at first level should you want to place as an un-armoured samurai (basicly it mirrors a monks AC rules.

thanks once again

XtheYeti
2006-11-16, 12:40 PM
Well done, i like this alot, it is a great class

kanachi
2006-11-16, 02:06 PM
Well done, i like this alot, it is a great class

Thanks really glad you like it! :smallsmile:

Khantalas
2006-11-16, 02:23 PM
Actually, if you have Oriental Adventures, you can make a Samurai path (Samurai-do... Heh.) for all seven major clans there. You already have Lion and Crane, and you can change Serpent into Scorpion. Tiger may be Unicorn, or maybe Crab. Maybe not. I don't know. My head hurts so badly and I don't know why.

khantalas like puppies.

Mr Croup
2006-11-16, 02:25 PM
I've always been of the camp that says samurai should just be fighters with a different skill set. Having said that, this is probably my favorite attempt at a samurai class that I've seen so far.

Regarding the skill list, I'd drop craft out, as historically most samurai did not engage in the crafting or building of anything, as it was outside of their station.

Concerning the weapon proficiencies, I'd drop kukri and shuriken from the list, and add in spear, as the yari was a common weapon amongst the bushi. Related to this, I'd think about renaming the 'ken-jutsu' abilities, and allowing them to apply to the weapons you have listed, as well as the longbow and spear.

As far as balance goes, I'm not sure what I think honestly, but then I've never been the best at balancing.

Over all though, it has a pretty good flavor.

Khantalas
2006-11-16, 02:30 PM
Regarding the skill list, I'd drop craft out, as historically most samurai did not engage in the crafting or building of anything, as it was outside of their station.

Craft (calligraphy). Tell me that samurai weren't interested in writing better.


Concerning the weapon proficiencies, I'd drop kukri and shuriken from the list, and add in spear, as the yari was a common weapon amongst the bushi. Related to this, I'd think about renaming the 'ken-jutsu' abilities, and allowing them to apply to the weapons you have listed, as well as the longbow and spear.

Spears are simple weapons. Which this samurai is already proficient with. And you're right about kukri and shuriken, although it's his decision.

kanachi
2006-11-16, 02:41 PM
Concerning the weapon proficiencies, I'd drop kukri and shuriken from the list, and add in spear, as the yari was a common weapon amongst the bushi. Related to this, I'd think about renaming the 'ken-jutsu' abilities, and allowing them to apply to the weapons you have listed, as well as the longbow and spear.

I agree with you on dropping the kukri (dont really know why i put it there), i'm probably going to keep the shuriken however as its there for those who like the anime style samurai (whom commonly use thrown projectiles). Also a shuriken is so weak i cant see it breaking the class, in fact i dont think i've ever even used one.

I dont know about allowing ken-jutsu for the other weapons on the list, its an interesting idea however.



Actually, if you have Oriental Adventures, you can make a Samurai path (Samurai-do... Heh.) for all seven major clans there. You already have Lion and Crane, and you can change Serpent into Scorpion. Tiger may be Unicorn, or maybe Crab. Maybe not. I don't know. My head hurts so badly and I don't know why.


hmm interesting idea... I'de need valid path mechanics though before i made any, its not really woth just sticking 7 in because i can. If however you can think of a path you would be interested in seeing the samurai take then there are deffonate possibilities here.

Khantalas
2006-11-16, 02:50 PM
I agree with you on dropping the kukri (dont really know why i put it there), i'm probably going to keep the shuriken however as its there for those who like the anime style samurai (whom commonly use thrown projectiles). Also a shuriken is so weak i cant see it breaking the class, in fact i dont think i've ever even used one.

Anime style samurai?

Why did I ever think we'd get some "historically correctness" with this class?

It isn't about breaking the class. It's about being historically correct. Samurai wouldn't use shuriken, as they were dishonorable to use.

You might as well give them a whip because it won't break the class, I don't see you doing it.

I like the class, but if I decide to use it, I'll remove that part. I am not forcing you to do so. After all, it is your creation.

I'll think about the 7 paths thing, although I can't promise you they'll be balanced. I can only promise you they'll have the flavor of the seven clans.

Mr Croup
2006-11-16, 02:59 PM
Craft (calligraphy). Tell me that samurai weren't interested in writing better.

Oh, I whole heartedly agree, I just don't know if I'd give a general craft skill as an class skill. I would say that calligraphy would fall under the Profession (artist) skill the OP has listed, along with things like sumi-e, bonsai, poetry, or what have you.

Regarding the spear, totally missed the simple weapon proficiency, so never mind that bit.


I dont know about allowing ken-jutsu for the other weapons on the list, its an interesting idea however.

I just suggest it because such a large number of samurai devoted the same sort discipline and study towards spears, bows, and in some instances naginata, as they did to the sword, and arguably more so than did the tanto.

One of my biggest beefs with all the samurai classes that I've seen is that they are pigeonholed regarding their weapon choice / specializations far too often. The sword is often times given a place of prevalence that is not entirely merited. Tradition minded kyudo practitioners place just as much importance on the reverence and respect given their bows as their sword wielding counterparts. It's definitely a pet peeve of mine, but I think it is worth thinking about. Now, I'm not saying to give them the bonus to all the weapons, but perhaps let them pick a group perhaps, such as the swords you have listed, spears, polearms, or bows. Just a thought.

kanachi
2006-11-16, 04:37 PM
Anime style samurai?

Why did I ever think we'd get some "historically correctness" with this class?

It isn't about breaking the class. It's about being historically correct. Samurai wouldn't use shuriken, as they were dishonorable to use.

You might as well give them a whip because it won't break the class, I don't see you doing it.


Well, while I agree and would personally play a more historically correct samurai (or at least one more based on Akira Kurosawa films) I wanted the class to give the player options so they could create whatever samurai they most loved.

For example if you like Ninja scroll (anime), shogun assassin (film), ZatŰichi (film) or similar films you will note that several samurai in such depictions do use shuriken.

Also saying that a whip is comparable to a shuriken is therefore false as there is at least some fictional reference to samurai using shuriken (see above) while I know of none where whips are involved.

All that said I do completely agree and therefore if you donít like the shuriken aspect of the class it can easily be removed (I will probably be doing the same myself). I will say however that itís also a fictional reference that tells you that a samurai would never use a weapon like a shuriken because of "honour" reasons. Historically many samurai were nowhere near as honourable as we all represent them being but I think we all agree itís about having fun and creating the character that you can best enjoy. I thus try to offer options instead of restrictions.

Itís likely that a samurai who chooses a certain path (such as that of a serpent or even goes cross-class as a rouge) is in fact what we might call a Ronin or even a dishonourable/evil samurai (though not always) and thus may well use dishonourable weapons.



I'll think about the 7 paths thing, although I can't promise you they'll be balanced. I can only promise you they'll have the flavor of the seven clans.


Cool! that would be great! we can always iron out the bugs together anyway :)



Oh, I whole heartedly agree, I just don't know if I'd give a general craft skill as an class skill. I would say that calligraphy would fall under the Profession (artist) skill the OP has listed, along with things like sumi-e, bonsai, poetry, or what have you.


Very valid point, i'll probably change this.



I just suggest it because such a large number of samurai devoted the same sort discipline and study towards spears, bows, and in some instances naginata, as they did to the sword, and arguably more so than did the tanto.

One of my biggest beefs with all the samurai classes that I've seen is that they are pigeonholed regarding their weapon choice / specializations far too often. The sword is often times given a place of prevalence that is not entirely merited. Tradition minded kyudo practitioners place just as much importance on the reverence and respect given their bows as their sword wielding counterparts. It's definitely a pet peeve of mine, but I think it is worth thinking about. Now, I'm not saying to give them the bonus to all the weapons, but perhaps let them pick a group perhaps, such as the swords you have listed, spears, polearms, or bows. Just a thought.


I actually really agree with this point, its very true of alot of samurai classes out there. You are right.

hmmm... how about offering the bonus to 3 weapons from the weapon list which the player would choose? So you could go the all out sword option if you wanted or mix it up with some other weapons (longbow). I dont think it would blow the balance out of the water.

kanachi
2006-11-16, 07:20 PM
UPDATE: I've removed the craft skill (thanks Mrcroup) and added rules for items of equipment which may be of interest to a samurai.

Khantalas
2006-11-17, 05:28 AM
...Iajutsu focus (Cha)...

Nitpicking! The proper spelling is Iaijutsu Focus. A small detail, but it bugged me.

kanachi
2006-11-17, 10:41 AM
Nitpicking! The proper spelling is Iaijutsu Focus. A small detail, but it bugged me.

Hehe, thanks! have corrected it :)

kanachi
2006-11-19, 03:22 PM
UPDATE!!

I've added Naginata to the weapon list (which I had forgotten to do) and freed up the ability for the player to make a samurai who specialises in more than just sword play.

In addition Iíve changed the paths to follow traditional Japanese elements rather than animal styles, so hopefully this will give the class a greater sense of flavour. This also let me add a 5th path (earth), which basically acts as the ďenlightenedĒ samurai path.

The following terms may also interest you if you want to describe the particular fighting style of your samurai (warning! loose translations here as Iím not a pro).

Budo: A broad term for describing martial or fighting arts, often used instead of bu-jutsu. Bu-jutsu means (loosely) "science of war" while Budo means (loosely once again) "the way of war". Itís up to you to decide which is more closely linked to the way your samurai considers the martial arts.

Bo-jutsu : staff fighting

Ken-jutsu: sword fighting

Kyo-jutsu: bow and arrow fighting

Kyuba no michi: horse and bow fighting

Naginata-jutsu: Naginata fighting (surprisingly)

So-jutsu: spear fighting

I may have forgotten 1 or 2, but mehÖ I hope that helps you guys add some flavour.

Coffee_Cream
2006-11-20, 11:19 AM
Oohh! This is getting very good! Some nice changes since my last viewing.

I always thought the idea of a samurai class was a bit iffy, but I actually quite like this one, possibly the best and most complete samurai style class Iíve seen without being overly complex.

I really like the saving throw progression system you have here as well. You should try to work out a system that can be implemented for all classes as a variant. I assume this is the equivalent to a ď1 good save classĒ like the fighter (though it actually works out ever so slightly better), so perhaps a ď2 good saveĒ and ďall good saveĒ version would be interesting as well.

Anyway, looking good!

Closet_Skeleton
2006-11-20, 11:52 AM
This has the problem of all Samurai classes. That is it's too restrictive. Any class that tries to cover a single concept like this ends up becoming too restrictive and gives out abilities you might not want. I guess this partly comes from all 20 level classes that are so long they restrict you far too much. That's a good thing about d20 modern, short class progressions. This class doesn't really feel neccesary enough for me to ever allow in a game.

My favourite Samurai base class is the Fighter class.
This class isn't the worse but it still doesn't make me think "If I play this class I'll be a Samurai"; which is probably what it's supposed to make you think. I'd rather have some bonus feats and then take levels in Iaijutsu master.

kanachi
2006-11-20, 02:09 PM
This has the problem of all Samurai classes. That is it's too restrictive. Any class that tries to cover a single concept like this ends up becoming too restrictive and gives out abilities you might not want. I guess this partly comes from all 20 level classes that are so long they restrict you far too much. That's a good thing about d20 modern, short class progressions. This class doesn't really feel neccesary enough for me to ever allow in a game.


While I agree that a fighter can make a perfectly serviceable samurai build I don’t think it can really be said to be perfect for the job either. A samurai was for example a courtier, a noble and possibly even a skilled scholar or artist as well as an often specialised warrior. Simulating this with a pure fighter 20 build would be almost impossible, you simply don’t get enough skill points.

As for customisation, I would agree that it’s not as customisable as a fighter 20, but then I don’t think any class is, that’s the purpose of the fighter after all. A ranger or paladin is far less customisable than a fighter and both could be considered in many ways more restrictive than this class. Its not really fare therefore to compare a fighter to any other class in terms of customisation options, its like saying a dwarf is a nonsense race because its less customisable than a human – yes it is, but customisation/adapting is obviously not the power of the dwarf.

I have tried to offer as must customisation to the class as possible, where possible while still holding true to certain samurai traits. For example the save system allows you to build a samurai with a save progression as you see fit (rather than a restrictive path, like the fighter), this is to represent the many different views a play might have of what it is to be a samurai. A samurai has a number of weapons they may progressively gain skill with (less options than a fighter admittedly, but still a fare number). Additionally a samurai can choose from 5 different paths to further customise the vision the player has of the samurai.

If you throw all of that together I think you get a fairly free form class which still has specific flavours one might associate with the samurai – ability to deal large amounts of damage to specific targets, ability to move with greater freedom than any fighter, ability to have some more flavoured skills, etc…

I do agree though, that for a number of people who seek something more loosely associated with a samurai a fighter is a far better choice. This is after all merely an option not a requirement I’m proposing.



I really like the saving throw progression system you have here as well. You should try to work out a system that can be implemented for all classes as a variant. I assume this is the equivalent to a “1 good save class” like the fighter (though it actually works out ever so slightly better), so perhaps a “2 good save” and “all good save” version would be interesting as well.

I'de like to true to do this at some point but it would be hard to balance, i'll give it some thought. Glad you like the idea though!

Coffee_Cream
2006-11-21, 05:21 AM
Fighter 20 is what I would normally use to make a samurai (maybe throwing in kensai levels) but itís still valid to make a class for those who want something different or donít have access to a 101 feats, books and so on in order to make the perfect samurai look-alike out of a fighter build. At least this class offers some free forming of your samurai, not simply a blueprint to a single vision of a samurai.

kanachi
2006-11-21, 10:01 AM
Fighter 20 is what I would normally use to make a samurai (maybe throwing in kensai levels) but itís still valid to make a class for those who want something different or donít have access to a 101 feats, books and so on in order to make the perfect samurai look-alike out of a fighter build. At least this class offers some free forming of your samurai, not simply a blueprint to a single vision of a samurai.


I agree, Iím not saying its impossible to build a samurai out of a fighter build (though he/she would likely be a bit underpowered) I'm simply offering a way of building something different. "Intimidating Combatant", "marking foes", "bonus vs mark" and the like are all things I have tried to make to set this apart from any fighter build you could make.

Remember this can only really be said to be my vision of a possible samurai class, the samurai and their true representation will never be defined perfectly by a single class for everyone.

TheEscapist
2006-11-22, 06:07 PM
Let me begin by saying that the Nov 22nd, 2006 iteration of this samurai class is my first look at it, and I like it a lot. I was disappointed in how little the Oriental Adventures samurai class had to offer, and I was flat out insulted when I looked at the Complete Warrior version of the samurai. While, once again, I am very impressed with your new samurai class, I do have a few suggestions/opinions that you may or may not want to consider.

First and foremost, I am firmly in the camp that says a samurai would NEVER be chaotic. Possibly neutral rather than lawful, but I think a samurai who becomes chaotic should be unable to take further levels in the class unless some sort of task/atonement is performed to allow the former samurai to once again center himself and return to the path of bushido. Having "ronin" as a prestige class, an idea I actually did like about the CW's take on samurai, would still allow a former samurai to stay chaotic but continue to hone his combat skills.

I am also in agreement that a samurai would not be seen using shuriken. Of the examples you cite to the contrary, Jubei from Ninja Scroll is - as the title suggests - a ninja; at best, a ninja posing as a ronin. I personally don't remember any samurai using projectiles in Zatoichi, and I'm ashamed to say that I've still yet to see Shogun Assassin.:smallfrown: However, even if a samurai does want to carry shuriken, it should not be something that they are proficient in by default. After all, if a samurai really wants to use them, no one's stopping him from taking the "exotic weapon proficiency: shuriken" feat. But a samurai who does this should be the exception, not the rule. After all, many samurai (and this is historical fact) felt archery was equally important to swordplay, so a standard samurai would have his trusty daikyu for all his projectile-weapon needs.

Thirdly, it would probably be quite a bit more time consuming, but you might want to consider offering multiple paths for this samurai class, a la the ranger dual-wield/archer paths. There have been a lot of really good suggestions on here - iaijutsu samurai, armored samurai, unarmored samurai, etc. There's always a Miyamoto Musashi-style dual-wielding samurai. Hell, I'd love to see archery options for the samurai. These could all just be done with feats, but I'm not sure whether non-fighter classes give a character a sufficient number of feats to specialize the way a samurai would probably want to.

Finally, to wrap things up on a positive note so you're not left thinking I wrote this to bash your creation, I love the hakama idea. Perhaps there should be a "hakama proficiency" feat for anyone who wants to use them but doesn't want to take samurai levels? Yes, this would be an extremely unlikely thing for a character to want to do, but the option should still be there.

Also, I think you were right on to put craft in the samurai's skill list. I believe it was actually mandatory for a samurai to be cultured in some way. As was previously mentions, calligraphy, bonsai, sumi-e, poetry, maybe even origami or ukiyo-e, would certainly be appropriate pasttimes for a samurai.

I understand that you were mostly interested in making an anime-style samurai, but samurai in anime are the exceptions, not the rules. There's no reason a samurai couldn't take cross-class ranks in performance: breakdancing to be like Mugen from Samurai Champloo. :smallbiggrin:

kanachi
2006-11-23, 05:36 AM
Wow thanks for the responce! great to have some indepth comments on the class, thank you!



First and foremost, I am firmly in the camp that says a samurai would NEVER be chaotic. Possibly neutral rather than lawful, but I think a samurai who becomes chaotic should be unable to take further levels in the class unless some sort of task/atonement is performed to allow the former samurai to once again center himself and return to the path of bushido. Having "ronin" as a prestige class, an idea I actually did like about the CW's take on samurai, would still allow a former samurai to stay chaotic but continue to hone his combat skills.


I've come to agree with this myself - it was lazyness on my part because i didn't want to have to make a Ronin class. Still, i think you could probably play this class from lvl 1 and simply rename it as a Ronin. Anyway, when i get some free time i'll remove the chaotic option and make a Ronin class.



I am also in agreement that a samurai would not be seen using shuriken. Of the examples you cite to the contrary, Jubei from Ninja Scroll is - as the title suggests - a ninja; at best, a ninja posing as a ronin. I personally don't remember any samurai using projectiles in Zatoichi, and I'm ashamed to say that I've still yet to see Shogun Assassin.:smallfrown: However, even if a samurai does want to carry shuriken, it should not be something that they are proficient in by default. After all, if a samurai really wants to use them, no one's stopping him from taking the "exotic weapon proficiency: shuriken" feat. But a samurai who does this should be the exception, not the rule. After all, many samurai (and this is historical fact) felt archery was equally important to swordplay, so a standard samurai would have his trusty daikyu for all his projectile-weapon needs.


Agreed, i'll remove the shuriken. I always saw Jubei as a Ronin though, even if they call him a ninja.



Thirdly, it would probably be quite a bit more time consuming, but you might want to consider offering multiple paths for this samurai class, a la the ranger dual-wield/archer paths. There have been a lot of really good suggestions on here - iaijutsu samurai, armored samurai, unarmored samurai, etc. There's always a Miyamoto Musashi-style dual-wielding samurai. Hell, I'd love to see archery options for the samurai. These could all just be done with feats, but I'm not sure whether non-fighter classes give a character a sufficient number of feats to specialize the way a samurai would probably want to.

I dont really like the way the ranger mechanics work, I find it restrictive. I have added a certain amount of free-forming to this class, though your never going to be able to match a pure fighter for versitility. If you want to specialise in a certain style you have the feats to do so and can pick bu-jitzu with 3 weapons, so in way you do define a style, but not in such a restrictive fashion.



Finally, to wrap things up on a positive note so you're not left thinking I wrote this to bash your creation, I love the hakama idea. Perhaps there should be a "hakama proficiency" feat for anyone who wants to use them but doesn't want to take samurai levels? Yes, this would be an extremely unlikely thing for a character to want to do, but the option should still be there.

Also, I think you were right on to put craft in the samurai's skill list. I believe it was actually mandatory for a samurai to be cultured in some way. As was previously mentions, calligraphy, bonsai, sumi-e, poetry, maybe even origami or ukiyo-e, would certainly be appropriate pasttimes for a samurai.


samurai dont really craft they do gain proffesion artist... though you could consider that a craft, so i would call them the same thing.



I understand that you were mostly interested in making an anime-style samurai, but samurai in anime are the exceptions, not the rules. There's no reason a samurai couldn't take cross-class ranks in performance: breakdancing to be like Mugen from Samurai Champloo. :smallbiggrin:
[/quote]

actually, i saw this more as a film samurai than an anime samurai. Hense the lack of crazy magic skills and so on. Its simply a class designed to let you build the samurai you best enjoy.

Khantalas
2006-11-23, 07:15 AM
Actually, artistry is in Craft and Perform skills according to the Artist feat. It has nothing to do with being a profession.

kanachi
2006-11-23, 07:33 AM
Actually, artistry is in Craft and Perform skills according to the Artist feat. It has nothing to do with being a profession.

should i remove the profession (Artist) skill and add a Craft (Artist) and Perform (Artist) skill or have all 3?

Khantalas
2006-11-23, 07:39 AM
From what I understand, there is no Profession (artist), and Perform and Craft come in full package. There is Craft (painting) and Craft (calligraphy), and Perform is mostly about art, anyway.

kanachi
2006-11-23, 09:20 AM
hmm ok, i'll replace the Profession (artist) skill with Craft (painting), Craft (calligraphy) and Perform. Sound good?

What would bonsai and poetry all come under btw? sculpture and writing?

I_Got_This_Name
2006-11-24, 02:26 AM
Poetry is Perform (Poetry); I'm not entirely sure what writing it would be. Spontaneous performances are still performances, so they'd be Perform. I don't know if preparation is different enough to make it its own skill. If it was, I'd probably put it under Craft (Writing) a la D20 Modern. Bonsai would be its own skill, most likely.

kanachi
2006-11-26, 09:14 PM
Ok, I’ve finally got round to making a whole host of little changes to the class, so I’m very sorry for keeping you all waiting. The changes in this new version are as follows:

1. shurikens are out of the weapon list
2. craft (bonsai), craft (painting), craft (writing) and perform (poetry) are all in
3. Added two feats (Insightful Offence and Wisened Defence) by Serakus_DeSardis to the new feats list.
4. added a hakama proficiency feat
5. fiddled once again with the paths
6. added a second tier to the paths (at 15th level) which offer some interesting abilities to the class
7. maybe one or two other things, I forget now, sorry (its late here)

Anyway thank you very much to everyone who has helped me improve the class no end with their great ideas.

kanachi
2006-12-06, 09:40 AM
Another update

1. Expanded upon the intimidating combatant rules to encompas numerious situations i had not originally forseen (kights vigilant defence, for example).

2. Expanded upon my explanation of the bonus attack of oppertunity vs a samurai's mark.

3. added the ride skill to "formal arts" to allow for a mounted samurai variant.

4. couple of other minor things

anyway see what you guys think! thanks :)

magic8BALL
2006-12-07, 09:01 AM
CAUTION: EXTENSIVE RANT ENDUCED BY AN UNPLEASENT EXPERIENCE WITH A STUPID GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AND A LACK OF FAITH IN ANYTHING CLAIMING TO BE A SAMURI CLASS
(positive feedback further down. I hate samuri rip-offs)

...ever read much about samuri training? Japanese cartoons don't count.

I'll be honest. I didn't give this much of a read: I've given up on any form of samuri class. Sumuri weilded katanas, a short sword version was a back up/in town weapon, a larger version was a quick masacar version. Earlier on, greatclubs forged of steel were used. Some samuri even fought on horseback using bow and arrow. One noted samuri was so talented at (and bored with) killing foes with his sword, he killed 50 men with an oar, simply becouse he could.

Hence, samuri = fighter to me, and always will. They are so versitile, I don't give two hoots, as long as the player knows that a samuri would never weild two swords at once, or a shield, and role plays his strugle to hold his birth right, or to avenge his brother, or his comand of a strike force into a small village, or his position in the Emperical Guard (if there is such a thing, if there are katanas in the world, if a system of goverment that mirrors feudal japan is in favour, anywhere, ever).

...actually... having gone to all this effort to tastfully bag this out, it dosn't seem too bad at all. I like the weapon profficiencies. *sigh* If I ever wish to have an oriental setting, I may give this a good lookover, but that's not my cup of tea. Well done, too bad I've been exposed to so many poorly done samuri's to give this a chance.

That said, this may be a hell good class, by why call it something that it may never fully encompass, or truely represent? (not that "heavily armoured melee combatant" dosn't scream overdone anyway)

kanachi
2006-12-07, 03:15 PM
CAUTION: EXTENSIVE RANT ENDUCED BY AN UNPLEASENT EXPERIENCE WITH A STUPID GOVERNMENT AGENCY, AND A LACK OF FAITH IN ANYTHING CLAIMING TO BE A SAMURI CLASS
(positive feedback further down. I hate samuri rip-offs)

...ever read much about samuri training? Japanese cartoons don't count.

I'll be honest. I didn't give this much of a read: I've given up on any form of samuri class. Sumuri weilded katanas, a short sword version was a back up/in town weapon, a larger version was a quick masacar version. Earlier on, greatclubs forged of steel were used. Some samuri even fought on horseback using bow and arrow. One noted samuri was so talented at (and bored with) killing foes with his sword, he killed 50 men with an oar, simply becouse he could.

Hence, samuri = fighter to me, and always will. They are so versitile, I don't give two hoots, as long as the player knows that a samuri would never weild two swords at once, or a shield, and role plays his strugle to hold his birth right, or to avenge his brother, or his comand of a strike force into a small village, or his position in the Emperical Guard (if there is such a thing, if there are katanas in the world, if a system of goverment that mirrors feudal japan is in favour, anywhere, ever).

...actually... having gone to all this effort to tastfully bag this out, it dosn't seem too bad at all. I like the weapon profficiencies. *sigh* If I ever wish to have an oriental setting, I may give this a good lookover, but that's not my cup of tea. Well done, too bad I've been exposed to so many poorly done samuri's to give this a chance.

That said, this may be a hell good class, by why call it something that it may never fully encompass, or truely represent? (not that "heavily armoured melee combatant" dosn't scream overdone anyway)

I sympathise and respect the fact that the many classes people have made regarding the samurai (official or otherwise) may have somehow gone against your own personal view of the samurai. However I would say that I find your (and you donít seem to be alone in this) belief that a class has to be 100% authentic to the real world quite perplexing. After all show me an archer who can historically string, aim and fire a bow 4 times in 6 secondsÖ common sense tells you that itís just not possible. In fact you donít need to look hard into ANY class mechanic to find that itís utterly unbelievable and fictitious.

Letís not forget that this is a fantasy role playing game, the key word being ďfantasyĒ. Fighters can survive a 200+ foot fall, wizards can stop time, and rouges can dance on the head of a pin (ok maybe not)Ö but itís vital to remember that every class is a fantasy representation of its real world equivalent. Therefore the samurai should be allowed to be shown with some degree of fantasy as well and even trying to make a 100% truthful version of any class (not just the samurai) is a fools errand as DnD just does not lend well to it without an extensive alteration in the basic game mechanics.

Having said all that I do believe that Iíve gone for a fairly versatile building option here (you can build a samurai who is skilled with a bow, when mounted, using a spear as easily as you can one with a sword). And have tried to create abilities that YES have an element of fantasy but are not really what you might call Anime/fanboy themed, though thatís obviously just a matter of opinion on my part.

I do except (and have already said) that a fighter build can indeed build something similar to a samurai, but for many people it just cant do it well enough. Iím not trying to force you to use a class after all. lol

Anyway, I understand that you are just trying to make a point about samurai classes in general so no hard feelings (I tend to rant myself rather a lot after all, lol). I urge you to take a closer look at the class though when you get a chance and tell me what you think :), yes it is a bit fantastical but Iíve tried (and people have helped me immensely in this) to represent a samurai in as many of his/her different guises as possible.

Oh btwÖ some samurai did wield two swords at once, though it took great skill. Check out a guy called Miyamoto Musashi and a style called Hyōhō Niten Ichi-ryū.

Khantalas
2006-12-07, 05:37 PM
...and rouges can dance on the head of a pin (ok maybe not)...

I believe you've never met Yoshimo, bounty hunter extraordinarie.

kanachi
2006-12-07, 06:07 PM
I believe you've never met Yoshimo, bounty hunter extraordinarie.

lol you win my second gold cookie for quote useage!

magic8BALL
2006-12-08, 02:01 AM
hmmm... maybe this is a desent class. Sorry for blowing up: I shouldn't have taken out anything on you, someone who I doubt I will ever meet, or you work, wich technically has nothing wrong with it as it is a sugested class for a game we all like playing (otherwise why do we try to make it better?).

Now for a decent review (again, Ihavent read all the responses, but I have read the whole origional presentation)

Seems overpowered from the word go.
lvl 1: Improved Crit for 4 weapons against any single living target within 30 ft. No other class can come close until level 8 (BAB prerequisite for Imp. Crit.) This is ON TOP of what a fighter would get.
lvl 2: Look twice seems ok. It is roughly equivelent to a feat.
lvl 3: Cut once... hmmm... gets real nashy at high levels. (potentially an extra 9d6 a round at lvl 11)
lvl 4: This I think is way overpowered. Bu-Jutsu = Weapon Specialisation in 4 weapons, all at once? Dosn't that scream unbalanced?
lvl 5: Intimidating Combat and the Formal Arts add the real flavour to the class These I like. A lot.
lvl 9: ...now this is where I start to change my maind. I like the Path of The Samuri options you have. Although I'd change it only slightly to fit in with my own campaign, adding the path of the Hells for Evil Samuri.
lvl 10: Additional mark... hmmmyeeaahh...
lvl 12: Greater Bu-Jutsu = Overpowered.
lvl 13: ...hmmm... free 10ft step once you kill your mark... hmmmoook...
lvl 15: Ahh... is THIS where the Path of the Samuri chosen before starts to give the samuri bonuses (like the path of Earth auto-passing 1 will save/day)?
...and then the class pitters off into nothing... sort of anti-climactic after all those huge bonuses in the 1st 1/2 of the class.

On the Alignment restriction, you could lift the 'anyt chaotic', and call and chaotic samuri Ronin.

On the Save bonus: I was scared that was going to be 'CHA mod to all saves'. the version you presented is (initially) much smaller, proportional to class level, more balanced, and yet flexable. I like this.

Over all, it is a little more powerful than a fighter: better saves more skill points, more feats (essentially, but how many swords can you weild at once? Two max. Unless your a Thri Kreen or somthing, but you'd be a fool for wielding more than two types of swords... I digress). The d8 hit die save this class from being very overpowered.

But what of weaknesses? Every class has an inherant weakness. (fighters fail Ref saves, Wizards have no AC or HP, Bards should never be in melee, ever.) Oh... NO good saves... hmmm... ahh... save bonus +1 at every level, might I sugest? or the enemies mage's may have fun crippling these eleite warriors.

Hopefully, this is more useful than an uncalled for blast. Well done: a samuri class that not only has flavour, but I may even use in a world I'll be running soon!

Khantalas
2006-12-08, 05:02 AM
Yea, nitpicking, admittedly, but this is ticking me off.

It's samurai, not samuri!

Nitpicking over. Thank you for listening.

kanachi
2006-12-16, 09:11 PM
Once again Iíve been lazy and not bothered to post some updates Iíve made to the class for a while, so Iím very sorry about that!!

Iíve changed the following:


Blade of the samurai changed to way of the samurai. The ability now only grants a single weapon with which the samurai is proficient an improved crit range. At later levels (7th and 13th) they are able to choose additional weapons.
Iíve moved the attack of opportunity bonus that used to be seated in the blade of the samurai ability into the look twice ability, which fits the purpose far better.
Iíve made the wisdom bonus offered by the look twice ability limited by half the characters class level.
Iíve reworded cut once to represent what I had always intended (sorry for my bad words-manship!!) you only gain the additional d6 bonus to damage on your first successful hit NOT all of them.
The cut once ability is now not limited by weapon, which I had forgotten to implement a while back.I feel these changes help balance out the class a lot more as well as finally making the class fully open to whatever kind of weapon build you desire as a player. If you want to make a samurai who specialises in a katana thatís fine, but you may now also do so with a bow or Naginata.

I hope you all approve of these changes and want to thank everyone for your continued advice and ideas. You have all been instrumental in making what I think now looks like a very solid option for someone wanting to play a samurai in d&d. The successes of this class are all largely part because of your work, not just my own. So thank you all very much once again.

I might give though into renaming the title of this post from ďa new(ish) look samurai Ė bass classĒ into ďA new viable samurai Ė bass classĒ. As I think itís finally become far more than it originally started out as.

Serakus_DeSardis
2006-12-16, 09:29 PM
Magic8ball - This is gonna sound rude, but bear with me. If you wish to challenge the validity of a class based on a historical society caste, you need to meet the following requirements:

1) Capable of articulating yourself and to use proper or near proper spelling and grammar.
2) You really should be able to spell the name of the sect correctly. It is Samurai. Not samuri.
3) You should have some actual knowledge of the topic you are debating.

That is all. :) No hard feelings.

kanachi
2006-12-16, 09:39 PM
Magic8ball - This is gonna sound rude, but bear with me. If you wish to challenge the validity of a class based on a historical society caste, you need to meet the following requirements:

1) Capable of articulating yourself and to use proper or near proper spelling and grammar.
2) You really should be able to spell the name of the sect correctly. It is Samurai. Not samuri.
3) You should have some actual knowledge of the topic you are debating.

That is all. :) No hard feelings.

While I view his first post was a bit unwarranted (flaws in any other samurai builds are after all not my fault), I donít think the points he made in his second post are to be ignored.

Iím never one to turn away or upset a defender of my ideas but I do try to appreciate and except the views of all those who post.

I like to try to keep my topics light hearted and civilise, I hope you understand.

Thanks loads for your support though! That is if you are offering your supportÖ lol, what was I talking about again? Iíve confused even myselfÖ :smalleek:

kanachi
2006-12-18, 09:15 PM
:miko::redcloak: BUMP!!!

kanachi
2006-12-20, 07:32 PM
one last bump before i asume interest is lost and let this fade into the void of the forums back catalogue. lol

----=:elan::nale:=---- BUMP!!

Siberys
2006-12-21, 04:14 PM
In regards to the skills, just give both craft and profession. Every single other class I've ever seen has had them, and I see no reason why this one shouldn't.

kanachi
2006-12-24, 06:20 PM
I had it simply played out like that before, but after various comments by others on these boards i thought it was interesting to specifie the craft skills and so on, but i see no reason why you could not rule otherwise in your games :)