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m4x0r
2009-06-05, 12:18 AM
Courtier
"I met a courtier once. Regular enough fellow until some idiots decided to threaten his style of dress. Within minutes, he had managed to talk them into committing suicide." -Moloki Ver'Kala, kalashtar monk

Ambassadors are praised for their exploits and abused for their shortcomings in the face of challenges, while the royalty of the court are attended to by petty servicers and sacrifice warriors on the battlefield, the true exemplars of the diplomat-soldier is the courtier.
Courtiers are exclusive to the Five Great Clans- Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Void. Even trained outside the clans, a courtier's techniques are dependent on diplomacy and combat techniques only taught in the clans. Courtiers utilize their ki to empower their voices with hypnotic quality and are capable of using their influence rather than combat techniques to attack foes or amplify the abilities of allies. Honor is important to all courtiers, and they serve their clans foremost.
When a fight does arise, the courtier is by no means a weak smooth-talker. Armed with weapon symbols of a clan and taught to use them with deadly iaijutsu techniques. Although capable of defending herself well, a courtier serves best when helping her allies.
As a courtier, you use both influential techniques and ki techniques to unlock hidden prowess in your allies and bring honor to your clan. Out of combat, you are a powerful talker capable of easily wooing a room.

Making a Courtier
"For the glory of the Air Clan!" -Omi, desert half-elf courtier, using his kiai shout

Role: Ki Leader. You use your ki to improve your diplomatic abilities and use your ability to motivate allies and demoralize enemies to bring them to new heights of ability.
Abilities: Strength, Constitution, Charisma. Strength allows your melee ability to function properly and strike for heavy damage. Constitution helps you stay alive and resist common assassination techniques. Charisma is more important to you, as it affects most of your class features and is important to your class skills.
Races: Dwarfs, Ghost Elves, Half-Elves, and Humans are the most common courtiers. Dwarves are heavily involved in both the Earth and Water Clans, and the stalwart fellows make remarkable, forceful diplomats and able combatants in heated debates. Ghost Elves and their alliance to the Void Clan lead them to wield their unearthly grace to unnerve and cow opposition. Half-Elves, specifically half-high elves descended from ghost elves, or desert half-elves, fight for the Void and Air Clans, as the monastic, preservative lifestyle allows the desert half-elves to regain their culture and protect it by melding it to the history of the Air Clan. Humans, being the primary members of the great clans, make by far the largest number of courtiers. Unlikely to become courtiers are Changelings, Dhampnir, Goblins, and Orcs. Changelings may be able to keep their courtier identity under wraps, but the fact is that each courtier slowly gains a reputation in addition to improved talent, and changelings are rarely trusted as is, having him shift forms just devalues the courtier. Dhampnir are also rarely allowed to become courtiers, being universally distrusted except in the Coalition, where the great clans have no business anyway. Goblins typically lack the attention span to deal with politics beyond "How much?" "No" and "Nuke it." Orcs tend to lack to force of personality and social graces to make good diplomat courtiers.
Alignment: Any lawful. Regardless of the proclivity to chaos of some of the class, courtiers know law like the back of their hand and are highly disciplined debaters and speakers.

Class Features

Courtier
{table="head"]Level|BAB|Fort|Ref|Will|Special |
Class Defense Bonus

1st|+1|+2|+0|+2|Martial Training +1, Diplomat|
+6

2nd|+2|+3|+0|+3|Daisho Technique 1, Daisho|
+6

3rd|+3|+3|+1|+3|Intimidation , Kiai Shout 1/encounter|
+7

4th|+4|+4|+1|+4|Bravery |
+7

5th|+5|+4|+1|+4|Aid Retainer 1/day, Martial Training +2|
+7

6th|+6/+1|+5|+2|+5|Daisho Technique 2|
+8

7th|+7/+2|+5|+2|+5|Kiai Shout 2/encounter|
+8

8th|+8/+3|+6|+2|+6|Aid Retainer 2/day|
+8

9th|+9/+4|+6|+3|+6|Honor Guard|
+9

10th|+10/+5|+7|+3|+7|Daisho Technique 3, Martial Training +3|
+9

11th|+11/+6/+1|+7|+3|+7|Aid Retainer 3/day, Kiai Shout 3/encounter|
+9

12th|+12/+7/+2|+8|+4|+8|Frightful Presence |
+10

13th|+13/+8/+3|+8|+4|+8|Daisho Technique 4|
+10

14th|+14/+9/+4|+9|+4|+9|Aid Retainer 4/day, |
+10

15th|+15/+10/+5|+9|+5|+9|Kiai Shout 4/encounter, Martial Training +4|
+11

16th|+16/+11/+6/+1|+10|+5|+10|Daisho Technique 5|
+11

17th|+17/+12/+7/+2|+10|+5|+10|Aid Retainer 5/day|
+11

18th|+18/+13/+8/+3|+11|+6|+11|Seppuku|
+12

19th|+19/+14/+9/+4|+11|+6|+11|Kiai Shout 5/encounter|
+12

20th|+20/+15/+10/+5|+12|+6|+12|Aid Retainer 6/day, Martial Training +5|
+12

[/table]
Alignment: Any Lawful
Hit Die: 1d8

Class Skills:
Athletics (Str), Craft (Int), Deception (Cha), Iaijustu Focus (Cha), Influence (Cha), Know: Geography (Int), Know: History (Int), Know: Martial Lore (Int), Language (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Sense Motive (Wis), Streetwise (Cha)
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Courtiers are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons, and light and medium armor, but not shields. All courtiers are proficient with their clan daisho when they gain that class feature.
Class Defense Bonus: Courtiers have a class defense bonus, as shown in their class features. A class defense bonus applies to the character's AC and Touch AC, and represents an ability to defend oneself. Defense bonuses from multiple classes do not stack, the character simply uses the highest bonus. A character can only use his defense bonus when not wearing armor or shields.

Diplomat (ex): Courtiers are trained to be excellent speakers and communicators. A courtier gains a +4 bonus on all charisma based skills except iaijutsu focus, and may always use charisma based skills as a standard action, even in combat, whether to influence opponents to leave the fight, or to otherwise speak quickly.
Martial Training (ex): Courtiers often travel unarmored, and as such are trained to react quickly and utilize their bodies. In the first round of combat or during a surprise round, a courtier can utilize her hands as if she had the Improved Unarmed Strike feat, or use an improvised weapon, such as a pen or lamp, without penalty. She can even use an iaijutsu focus check when utilizing this ability.
In addition, she gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls utilizing martial arts, but may not reduce the penalty for attacking to below zero. This bonus increases by an additional +1 at level five, +1 at each fifth level afterwards.
Daisho: At second level, a courtier is rewarded with a set of daisho of her own, marking her as an official ranked member of her clan. She gains proficiency if necessary with the weapons, plus a select set of bonus feats.
Air: Daisho: Two War Fans. Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: War Fan, Two Weapon Fighting
Earth: Daisho: Warhammer and Light Mace. Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Martial Arts: Push
Fire: Daisho: Two Longswords. Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Oversize Two Weapon Fighting
Water: Daisho: Shortsword and Kukri. Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Critical: Kukri, Shortsword.
Void: Daisho: Bastard Sword and Shortsword. Feats: Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword, Two Weapon Fighting
First Daisho Technique (ex): As representatives of their clan, courtiers are trained to use their daisho to inspire pride and valor in allies and fear in enemies through specialized ki combat techniques. A courtier learns her first daisho technique at second level, and must utilize her daisho weapon or weapons all daisho techniques or it fails.
Air: Autumn's Breath: After making an iaijutsu check, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to add the shock ability to her weapons for a number of rounds equal the number of dice she sacrifices.
Earth: Spring's Awakening: After making an iaijutsu check, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to gain a +1 bonus per dice sacrificed on checks against martial arts for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier.
Fire: Summer's Light: After making an iaijutsu check, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to add the flaming property to her weapons for a number of rounds equal to the number of dice she sacrifices.
Water: Winter's Chill: After making an iaijutsu check, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to add the frost property to her weapons for a number of rounds equal to the number of dice she sacrifices.
Void: Solstice's Grace: After making an iaijutsu check, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to add the keen property to her weapons for a number of rounds equal to the number of dice she sacrifices.
Kiai Shout (ex): Starting at third level, a courtier can use her patriotism for her clan to rally her allies with a simple but effective form of communication that excites their ki and allows them to become more focused in combat- a rousing shout. Using a kiai shout is a swift action and affects the courtier and all allies within six squares. The kiai shout lasts until the start of the courtier's next turn, and grants all under its effects a morale bonus on attack rolls equal to the courtier's charisma modifier, and a bonus on damage rolls equal to the courtier's level. Initially, the courtier can utilize this technique once per encounter, but every four levels after third, she can use a shout an additional time per encounter.
Intimidation (ex): At third level, a courtier can use her voice and body language to severely cripple foes in combat. As a free action once per round, a courtier can make an influence check to demoralize a foe, rather than a full-round action.
Bravery (ex): At fourth level, a courtier's charismatic training allows her to remain cool under litigational and combative fire. A courtier receives a +1 bonus on saves versus fear, increased by one per four class levels.
Aid Retainer (su): Starting at fifth level, a courtier can utilize her ki and training in order to support her allies so that they can better serve the clan or her needs. Once per day as a swift action, she can grant an ally within six squares one of the following bonuses based on their power source. If a target has more than one power source, the ally chooses which benefit they gain. A courtier gains an additional daily use of this ability every three levels after fifth.
Arcane: By using ki to supplement her ally's connection to the leyline, her ally becomes better at casting her spells. A character with the arcane power source gains a bonus to her caster level equal to the one fourth the courtier's class level for one round, and a bonus to the save DCs of her spell's equal to the courtier's charisma modifier for one round.
Divine: With the advice and ki-augmentation of the courtier, a divine character can better know the holy will of her deity. For a number of rounds equal to half the courtier's charisma modifier, the character can cast a spell or utilize a maneuver without expending it. After this period ends, the character is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.
Elemental: A courtier's close association with her clan's benders lead this use of the ability to be centered on benders rather than other members of this power source. An elemental character under the effects of this ability gains a bonus on all her bending checks equal to the courtier's class level for a number of rounds equal to the courtier's class level as the courtier accelerates and amplifies the bender's ki. At the end of this period, the bender is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.
Ki: A courtier can use her ki to open ki channels in other users of the power source. An ally with the ki power source reduces his penalty on martial arts attacks by half the courtier's class level for a number of rounds equal to the courtier's charisma modifier. After this period ends, the ally is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.
Martial: A courtier can assist martial characters greatly by augmenting their normally poor ki control. The ally affected by this ability gains a bonus on all attack rolls equal to half the courtier's level for one round.
Occult: Occultists typically draw on a wider range of powers than others, but a courtier is prepared to assist them with whatever support she can give them. While the courtier amplifies their ki, an occultist adds the courtier's charisma modifier to the save DC of all of their class abilities for one round.
Primal: With a quick jolt of ki, a primal character gains the ability to unleash an incredible amount of their techniques in one turn. For a number of rounds equal to the courtier's charisma modifier, the primal character may take an extra standard action.
Psionic: By granting a psionic ally some of his ki control, a psionic character can draw extra reserves of power from their mind. A psionic character instantly regains a number of power points equal to the courtier's class level.
Technologic: A courtier is aware that all members of the technologic power source rely on their various devices to function, but isn't foolish enough to narrow her ki down to focus on each individual. A technologic character gains a bonus on mechanism or use mystic device checks equal to the courtier's class level for a number of rounds equal to the courtier's class level, after which the character is fatigued for the remainder of the encounter.
Second Daisho Technique (ex): At sixth level, a courtier gains a new daisho technique. In addition, she gains improved two-weapon fighting as a bonus feat.
Air: Autumn's Gust: Whenever the courtier makes an iaijutsu attack, the foes must make a reflex save against DC10+Damage Dealt or fall prone.
Earth: Spring's Vitality: Whenever the courtier makes an iaijutsu attack, she also gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the iaijutsu focus check.
Fire: Summer's Comet: Whenever the courtier makes an iaijutsu attack, the foe must make a fortitude save against DC10+Damage Dealt or be knocked back a number of squares equal to the courtier's charisma modifier at the end of her turn.
Water: Winter's Bite: Whenever the courtier makes an iaijutsu attack, the foe must make a will save against DC10+Damage Dealt or slowed for one turn.
Void: All-Encompassing World: Whenever the courtier makes an iaijutsu attack, the courtier adds the number of iaijutsu dice to her next charisma-based check.
Versatile: At seventh level and again at fourteenth level, a courtier expands her skill knowledge. Each time she gains this ability, the courtier can select one cross class skill and gain it as a class skill from that point on.
Honor Guard (ex): Staring at ninth level, a courtier can use her ki to ward allies from harm. As an immediate action, a courtier can change the target of an effect from one ally to another (typically a defender or a character better suited to save against the ability).
Third Daisho Technique (ex): At eleventh level, all courtiers are trained in the powerful iaijutsu disengage ability, allowing them to ready their blades for a quick-draw attack after a powerful offense. After making a full-attack, a courtier can sheathe or close her daisho as a free action (both weapons or none) rather than a move action.
In addition, a courtier gains greater two-weapon fighting as a bonus feat.
Frightful Presence (ex): At twelfth level, the presence of a courtier is a horror to behold. For enemies in diplomacy, a courtier will be able to see through their lies and talk around them, and for enemies on the battlefield, a courtier will be able to empower her allies while fighting on the frontlines and coordinating her compatriots to devastating effect. A foe that witnesses the courtier use the influence or iaijutsu skill within twelve squares of the courtier must make a DC10+1/2 courtier level+charisma modifier will save or be shaken if they have equal or higher hit dice to the courtier, or panicked if they have half or fewer hit dice. If a foe saves against this ability, they are immune to its effects for one full day. If they fail, they are affected by this ability as long as they can see the courtier in the encounter.
Fourth Daisho Technique (ex): At thirteenth level, a courtier learns her fourth daisho technique, a symbol of her clan's mythic animal.
Air: Charging Unicorn: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, an air clan courtier can ready herself for an awesome charge. When the courtier next charges, she can make an iaijutsu attack at the end of her next charge, even if the foe is not applicable for the attack.
Earth: Roaring Lion: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, an earth clan courtier can unleash her battle lust in an impressive display. When she next draws her weapons, she may make an iaijutsu attack with each weapon on all foes she threatens, even if the foes are not applicable targets.
Fire: Rising Phoenix: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, a fire clan courtier can channel the heat of her recent attack into her blades. As a swift action, she makes an iaijutsu focus attack without drawing her blades. For each dice she would have gained, she extends her reach of her weapons by one square, increasing her threat range and allowing her to quickly leap at a foe and leap back into her square between attacks. This reach lasts for as long as the daisho is sheathed, and until the end of the courtier's turn after the first weapon is drawn.
Water: Shelled Tortoise: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, a water clan courtier can become serene and as unkillable as a rushing river. After sheathing her blades, she gains damage reduction equal to her courtier level until she unsheathes her daisho.
Void: Spinning Dragon: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, a void clan courtier can enter a state of supernatural awareness. She gains blindsight out to twelve squares while her daisho are sheathed, and the first attack of opportunity provoked from her automatically suffers an iaijutsu attack.
Fifth Daisho Technique (ex): At sixteenth level, a courtier learns her fifth and final daisho technique.
Air: Unicorn's Purification: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, an air clan courtier can unleash them to obliterate darkness around her. When she makes an iaijutsu attack after using her third daisho technique, her blades glow with white wind that creates a sphere of light that extends out to twelve squares for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier. Foes with a taint score in the vicinity of the light suffer damage as if hit by the iaijutsu attack.
Earth: Lion's Obliteration: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, an earth clan courtier can draw them in a combination designed to utterly destroy her target foe. When she makes an iaijutsu attack after using her third daisho technique, the targeted foe must make a fortitude save DC10+Damage dealt+number of iaijutsu dice or become stunned for one round, and staggered for the remainder of the encounter.
Fire: Phoenix's Crest: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapons, a fire clan courtier can invoke a terrible blast of regenerative fire. When she next deals damage with an iaijutsu attack, she gains regeneration equal to her iaijutsu focus check for a number of rounds equal to her charisma modifier. In addition, a foe that attacks her while this aura is up becomes flat-footed at the end of their turn.
Water: Tortoise's Cleansing: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapon, a water clan courtier can use her iaijutsu attacks to destroy the strength of her foes. After hitting with an iaijutsu, a courtier can sacrifice iaijutsu dice to deal strength or dexterity damage equal to the number of dice sacrificed.
Void: Dragon's Infinity: After full-attacking and sheathing her weapon, a void clan courtier can use her soul to power her iaijutsu attacks. After making an iaijutsu attack, a courtier can take 1d4 points of charisma damage that cannot be healed until after an extended rest to roll an additional d20 and add it to her iaijutsu check result. She can repeat his process until she runs out of charisma, but the attack still deals damage if it hits.
Seppuku (ex): At eighteenth level, a courtier can single-handedly redeem the honor of herself and her allies with an act of tremendous sacrifice. As a full-round action, the courtier performs a coup-de-grace upon herself with no save, dying in the process. Enemies that witness this act of retribution are sickened as per the condition, and must make another save against the courtier's frightful presence. If already affected by the ability, the foe's level of fear is increased by one.
Allies, meanwhile, are invigorated, and gain the effects of the courtier's kiai shout for the remainder of the encounter, temporary hit points equal to the courtier's class level, and can choose if they wish to receive the benefits of the courtier's aid retainer ability or not.
When the courtier performs this maneuver, she may also make a charisma based check except iaijutsu focus as if she had rolled a 20 on the roll.

Playing a Courtier
"If we are not bound to win, we are at least oathbound to honor." -Shamus of the Flame, epic human courtier, moments before using seppuku to renew the strengths of his allies

You're quite the talker, and you're often physically attractive or imposing, depending on your clan. You feel as though the word is more powerful than pen or sword, but realize that there's more to Specan're than diplomacy, and you aren't afraid to enter the fray of combat for the glory of the clan.

Religion: Most courtiers worship deities of law. In the northern pantheon, the Water Clan's courtiers often worship Forseti or Heimdall. The Fire and Earth Clans of the west often lead their courtiers to follow Athena or Nike, while the western Air and Void Clan courtiers often pay homage to Anubis or Osiris.
Other Classes: Courtiers work well with members of any class, but have always grown up alongside their clan's benders, making the two an easy and functional pair. Courtiers prefer to work alongside other lawful, honorable characters when possible, but understand the needs of the clan come before her own personal beliefs. She has lots in common with other ki classes, and eagerly works with other disciplined characters.
Combat: In combat, you spend a free action each round demoralizing foes and use feints and other techniques to render foes flat-footed so you can utilize your iaijutsu attacks. Your buffing abilities are important to use when your allies are going to be able to use them, not as a recovery method, while your personal daisho attacks often rely on attacking a single foe and utilizing martial arts.
Advancement: As your courtier level improves, you become both a better diplomat and a more applicable supporter. Out of combat, you can better influence potential foes to simply stand down, if not recruit them to your cause, while in combat you unleash a flurry of new and unusual attacks designed mostly to keep yourself safe and make it easier for your allies to deal with targets. Seppuku is as close to a capstone ability as you'll receive, but it very powerful when used as you are about to die, making your death highly potent. It can also be used for extreme shock and hilarity value.
"No Mr. Courtier, your request is denied."
"I understand." *Seppuku into a 20 on influence*
"OHSHI-"

Adaptation

3.5/Pathfinder:
Skills: Split. Athletics=Climb, Jump, Swim. Deception=Bluff, Sleight of Hand. Influence=Diplomacy, Intimidate. Know: History=Knowledge History, Knowledge Nobility. Know: Martial Lore=Martial Lore. Language=(3.5) Decipher Script, Speak Language (P) Linguistics, Speak Language. Perception=(3.5) Listen, Spot. Streetwise=Gather Information, Knowledge Local.

Martial Arts: Change references to martial arts to martial combat maneuvers such as bull rush, etc.

Squares: Increments of five feet.

Notes

This is not a class designed for 3.5 or Pathfinder, it's adjusted for my personal 3.75 system, Specan're. As far as the setting goes, this is pretty balanced, although it is much stronger than non-spellcaster 3.X/P edition, I personally felt like sharing it with you guys. If anyone has questions or shows interest, I'd gladly post some of the other 47 classes I've developed, or elaborate on my setting.

-M

cliffiepizza
2009-09-08, 06:59 PM
pretty awesome class. can you post your revision of the binder next?