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That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-20, 09:57 PM
Vagabond Yojimbo

The Vagabond Yojimbo wanders with little money or material wealth. He feels that his spirit and his own will are sufficient to deal with any threat that comes his way.

Requirements

BAB: +5
Abilities: Dex 15+, Int 13+
Skills: Healing 5 Ranks, Survival 5 Ranks
Feats: Weapon Focus (any One-Handed or Light Melee Weapon except Unarmed Strikes and Shields), Quick Draw, Die Hard
Alignment: Any Good
Special: You must have refused to use magical items of any kind in a fight, and refused magical healing at all times.
Special: For no other reason than because you were asked you must have undertaken a quest to right some wrong.
Special: A character with the Vow of Poverty feat may not ever take levels of Vagabond Yojimbo.

Class Features

HD: d10
Saves: Ref, Will, and Fortitude Good
BAB: Good (1/1)
Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Tumble (Dex), and Use Rope (Dex).
Skill Points: 4+Int

Class Abilities

Code of Conduct: A Vagabond Yojimbo sees magic as a crutch, and refuses to have anything to do with it. If magic is ever used to the Yojimbo's benefit (willingly or not), he will lose his balance and will lose access to all of his Class Abilities. These can only be regained by constant meditation for a period of days equal to 5+his Vagabond Yojimbo levels.

Note that the Vagabond Yojimbo will always resist any spells cast on him, even if he is unconscious or if the spell would prevent his death.

Vow of Poverty: The Vagabond Yojimbo will refuse to accept a reward for any deed worth more than 100 gold, no matter how difficult or dangerous the task. In addition to this, the Vagabond wanders around only in Light armour (or none at all), and typically only has one or two weapons.

Anticipation: At the beginning of every round, you may choose to apply your Intelligence bonus to either your Attack Rolls or your Armour Class, but not both. The max bonus you can apply is equal to the number of levels you have in Vagabond Yojimbo. At level 9, you may apply your Intelligence bonus to both.

Know the Balance: Pick a weapon you've been using for a while(not a type of weapon, such as Long Sword, but an actual item in your possession). You have used your particular weapon for so long that it becomes an extension of your will. When using that weapon (not any weapon of that type, but that particular weapon) you strike as if the weapon had a +1 Enhancement Bonus. This increases to +2 at Level 4, and +3 at Level 8. If for any reason your weapon becomes lost, you lose the bonus until you have time to refocus your mind on the balance of a new weapon to regain this ability. This process takes a number of days equal 15-(Intelligence Modifier)-Vagabond Yojimbo Class Level, but takes at least 1 full day.

Note: This weapon must be a weapon for which you have the Weapon Focus feat, and this weapon must fit the following criteria: One-Handed or Light Melee Weapon excluding Unarmed Strikes and Shields. If a Vagabond Yojimbo has Weapon Focus feat for more than one weapon which fits the criteria he may choose among them, but it still only applies to the one item.

Armour Bonus: While wearing Light Armour (or no armour), the Vagabond Yojimbo recieves a +1 Competency Bonus to his AC. This increases to a +2 at 2nd level, and increases by +2 every even Vagabond Yojimbo level afterwards, to a max of +10 at level 10.

Powerful Strike: At level 2, by channeling your fury into a single strike, you are capable of causing greater damage at the expense of accuracy. You gain the Power Attack feat, even if you don't meet the prerequisites. If you possess the Power Attack feat, you gain the Cleave feat instead.

Critical Retort: At level 3, when Grappling any weapon you Know the Balance of counts as Light. A successful attack allows you to attempt to break the grapple as a free action.

Natural Fighter: : At level 3, the Vagabond Yojimbo gains a +2 to any Ability Score of his choice. He gains this bonus again at 6th, 8th, and 10th level.

Mindless Attack: At level 5, you may choose not to apply your Intelligence Bonus to either your AC or Attack rolls, and instead gain a damage bonus to any successful hits of +1d6 with a weapon you Know the Balance of. At level 9 this becomes +2d6. This bonus applies to all attacks made that round.

Refocus: At level 6, you gain the ability to ignore even the gravest of wounds. As a move-equivelant action you may choose to Refocus, which restores a number of HP equal to 3d8+Will Save. This ability may be used once a day, but you take a -1 Fortitude Save penalty every time you use this. This penalty can only be restored through mundane healing, and is treated as Ability Score damage. If the Yojimbo is ever reduced to -10 HP and he has not yet used this ability for the day, he will automatically use it as a free action to save his own life.

In addition to this, for every hour of uninterrupted sleep the Vagabond Yojimbo gets, he gains a number of HP back equal to his level of Vagabond Yojimbo. This replaces the normal rules for Healing HP through bedrest.

Die Harder: At level 7, you may take strenuous actions when using the Die Hard feat without taking damage, but you still die at -10 HP.

Handforged Weapon: At level 8, If the Vagabond Yojimbo creates a Masterwork weapon for himself, he gains an additional +2 Enhancement bonus which stacks with the Enhancement bonus from Know the Balance.

Weapon Mastery: At level 9, for the purposes of damage only, the weapon you Know the Balance of counts as one size-category bigger than it really is.

"He Just Won't Die!": At level 10, If the Vagabond Yojimbo is ever reduced to -10 HP, he may make a Fortitude Save versus DC 20. If he succeeds, he is reduced only to -9 HP and is still up and fighting, but takes 2 points of temporary Constitution damage every time he uses this ability (he reduces Max HP as normal) and the Fortitude Save DC increases by 2. If this brings him down to 0 Constitution or if he fails a single Save, he dies as normal.[/b]

Comments and criticisms, please. I'm thinking about adding some kind of AC bonus to the class, though I'm also thinking that this would max out at +10 at the absolute most, or maybe granting Refocus earlier and more gradually.

Thomas
2005-12-20, 10:12 PM
Can't help it.

http://www.sprout.org/toshiro/images/lastsamurai/yojimbo3.jpg

Speaking of vagabonds and yojimbos... ;)

Karellen
2005-12-20, 10:32 PM
Hmm. A class that can't be helped with magic, eh? An interesting concept. Let's see! ;D

For hit dice, I think d10 or even d12 might be more to the point - this guy is a pure warrior type, and he'll need the ability to take hit a lot since he can't be healed magically. 'Course, I think you could substitute for this by giving him some extra AC bonus, if he's meant to be the nimble type. On the other hand, a neat thing you could do is to boost Die Harder's effect to making him stay up until - 10 + Vagabond Yojimbo level (and maybe upgrade to accounting all levels at level 10?) for the effect that he just doesn't die, damn it.

All around, the skills are pretty nice, though maybe a bit lacking in punch; Anticipation is very good, especially if you'd happened to take three levels of Swashbuckler and got Insightful Strike, making for some mean Int-based warrior builds. Know The Balance feels slightly underpowered to my eye, but it's not bad. All around, though, I think it needs a little extra oomph - especially since a Vagabond Yojimbo can not only be healed, but also cannot be buffed with spells, which is a further thing that weakens him. Some sort of Kiai or Staredown-type extra skill would be very good for the class, or some combat ability that genuinely stands up to what the tougher Warrior PrCs have.

Renloth
2005-12-20, 10:53 PM
Question of clarification.
Could I take this PrC after taking 5 levels of Ranger?
You have spells but if you chose not to use them, would you qualify?


Forgot to say how much I like the idea.

Very flavorful if, I agree, a little under powered.

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-20, 11:22 PM
Yes, you can take this after taking some levels of Ranger, as long as you don't spellcast. The rules of the class don't technically prohibit ANY class from being a Wandering Yojimbo. A Wizard could, in theory, be a Wandering Yojimbo... but it wouldn't make much sense.

Alright, I need some feedback on prospective abilities, in addition to a d10 HD:

"He Just Won't Die!": If the Vagabond Yojimbo is ever reduced to -10 HP, he may make a Fortitude Save versus DC 20. If he succeeds, he is reduced only to -9 HP and is still up and fighting, but takes 2 points of temporary Constitution damage every time he uses this ability (he reduces Max HP as normal) and the Fortitude Save DC increases by 2. If this brings him down to 0 Constitution or if he fails a single Save, he dies as normal. (Likely a 9th or 10th level ability, with Die Harder reduced a level or two)

Vow of Poverty: The Vagabond Yojimbo will refuse to accept a reward for any deed worth more than 100 gold, no matter how difficult or dangerous the task. In addition to this, the Vagabond wanders around only in Light armour (or none at all), and typically only has one or two weapons. (first level)

And... To balance out the Vow of Poverty...

Armour Bonus: While wearing Light Armour (or no armour), the Vagabond Yojimbo recieves a +1 Competency Bonus to his AC. This increases to a +2 at 2nd level, and increases by +2 every even Vagabond Yojimbo level afterwards, to a max of +10 at level 10.

Handforged Weapon: If the Vagabond Yojimbo creates a Masterwork weapon for himself, he gains an additional +2 Enhancement bonus which stacks with the Enhancement bonus from Know the Balance. (suggestions on Level?)

Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

Renloth
2005-12-20, 11:35 PM
For Handforged Weapon, I would say first, fourth, or sixth level. First would make it an inherent part of the class itself, fourth just seems to make sense to me as a solid middle of the class sort of ability, or sixth, because of some relation with the Refocus ability.

Last bugging question,
I assume that the +2 bonus for a Handforged weapon is given even if the weapon was forged before reciveing the ability.
Is this correct?

bingo_bob
2005-12-20, 11:37 PM
Ugh. I think you're digging a deeper and deeper pit of under-poweredness. Sure, he wouldn't have much use for gold, but he's going to really end up MILES behind everyone else. His stats will be pretty low, he doesn't have any really amazing abilities, and his damage output won't be high.

That said, he's going to have a pretty crazy AC.

Talanic
2005-12-20, 11:53 PM
And he'll run into some serious trouble in a couple areas:

With d12 hit die, and decent rolls, the character could take up to 12 days (if his die rolls for HP were great) to recover from serious injuries, whereas the rest of a group could be up on their feet the next day. Some kind of fast healing - perhaps just double or triple on eight hours rest - is needed to make the class really viable in a travelling adventuring group.

Next, another problem is overcoming damage reduction. He probably can't penetrate dr/good (bless or align weapon, which are spells...), dr/silver or dr/adamantium. He can apparently get dr/+5 if he makes his own weapon; that's good. The rest, though, another character could potentially get through.

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-20, 11:53 PM
Renloth: Yes. The intent of the Handforged ability is that the Vagabond Yojimbo knows every inch of the blade, and worked lovingly on it himself. He knows every iota of it as well as he knows his own hand.

Bingo_bob: I was actually worried about his damage output being too HIGH!

A Level 10 Vagabond Yojimbo is going to be dealing some pretty impressive damage, with Mindless Attack and Weapon Mastery.

Take a standard Longsword. Effectively, it deals the following damage:

2d6 (Weapon Mastery, 1d8 becomes 2d6), + 2d6 (Mindless Attack), +3 (Know the Balance) +2 (Handforged), for a grand-whopping total of 4d6+5 per hit (for an average of 19 damage), before Power Attack or Strength Bonuses come into play. Criticals would make this even "better", as while the Mindless Attack damage wouldn't stack, the rest would as normal.

Also, please keep in mind that you can always opt to use Mindless Attack, even with a weapon for which you DON'T Know the Balance.

Tanalic: Good call on the HP recovery. Hadn't quite thought that one fully through. I'm thinking maybe Double Normal + Willpower to start, progressing to Triple Normal + Willpower later on?

SpiderBrigade
2005-12-21, 01:18 AM
You probably want to include something in this class that precludes them from taking the actual feat, Vow of Poverty...because wow, that would be strong.

Beelzebub1111
2005-12-21, 10:16 AM
I would play one just for RP purposes. Sounds like it would be fun (after that healing durring rest thing is in effect) prehaps at level 10 you could give him "fast healing 2"

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-21, 08:24 PM
Definately wouldn't stack with the Vow of Poverty feat (which I personally believe to be more than a little broken).

Fast Healing... Would be a bit much. Maybe a special sort of Fast Healing that worked once every ten *minutes, but only when the Yojimbo sleeps. So, over the course of a single, eight-hour night, he might regain 48 HP. Interrupting his sleep with night attacks would, of course, interrupt this. This would be instead of the normal double/triple normal.

Renloth
2005-12-21, 10:28 PM
I really like the feel of that last fast-healing bit, it really keeps the "Never say Die" attitude going.

Does the fast-healing only come in when he is reciving bed rest, or whenever he is in a sleep-like state? (Knocked out for example.)

In the second case, I have a cinimatic image of a character being knocked down to the mid negatives, stablizing, and picking himself (Though battered and still near-death) an hour later, from among the dead, long after the battle has moved on...

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-21, 10:29 PM
I'd say sleep or knocked out, for flavour reasons. Though, given "He Just Won't Die!" it might be a touch difficult for the bugger to even drop unconscious!

Edit: One point of clarification someone pointed out to me... death due to Massive Damage cannot be avoided by "He Just Won't Die!", though the auto-Refocus would save him if he hadn't yet used it that day.

Renloth
2005-12-21, 10:58 PM
True enough, so I suppose the only way for him to fall unconscious would be for him to let go, and pass out.
Then again, that in itself seem to have a lot of flavor.

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-21, 11:16 PM
True enough, so I suppose the only way for him to fall unconscious would be for him to let go, and pass out.
Then again, that in itself seem to have a lot of flavor.

And now I have the most hilarious image of the VY fighting with his allies, an absolute mass of wounds. They finally finish and the VY looks at his friends. "Hey, are we finished here?"

"Uh, yeah. Did you know you now have handles now, thanks to that spear through you?" The Cleric inquires.

"Nah, it's cool. By the way, nappy time." The VY's eyes roll back into his head and he hits the ground with a thud. Lacking anything better to do, the party makes camp.

Renloth
2005-12-23, 03:52 PM
Two Questions.

Do you mind if I finish this myself? I have a game coming up, and really want to give this a go. (Only if you don't plan on finishing this anytime soon of course.)

Second, is there a reason that Heal and Survival are requirements, but not class skills?

Edit: The last problem I can see is low ability scores without magic items. How about an ability that allows him to create a number of items that add to his abilitys non-magicly? (i.e. - Give him a variable amount of ability points with which, at great expense of time and money, he can put into rings, cloaks, or the like... Something dealing with the balance...)

So with say 4 points, he could create:
- A +2 Dex Boots
- A +2 Int Cloak
or
- A +1 Str Ring
- A +2 Con Vest
- A +1 Wis Rings

Something like that...

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-23, 10:37 PM
Hmmm, I'm thinking maybe giving him natural Stat Gains.

Also, the class is now updated.

Single Shot Zombie
2005-12-23, 11:12 PM
You know, if he gets bonuses for forging his own weapon, then shouldn't Craft be a class skill or something?

That Lanky Bugger
2005-12-24, 01:11 AM
Nope. Not having Craft was a conscious decision for a variety of reasons:

-Firstly, flavour-wise it doesn't make much sense for a wandering mercenary with little more than the clothes on his back to have Craft: Weaponsmithing as a Class Skill. He has no reason to suddenly learn the skill if he doesn't have it, and even if he does... It's not exactly something he can improve quickly.

-Secondly, balance-wise it raises some issues. I wanted to balance the +2 Enhancement Bonus to be a conscious and worthwhile effort for the VY to obtain, requiring a conscious decision on the player's part to try to buy up the skill points to reasonably make and pay for the raw materials.

Wrecking half the raw cost of a Masterwork Weapon means that you're losing 50 gold just for failing that Skill Check by 5. Given the Vagabond Yojimbo's penchant for not really having material wealth to begin with, he's probably going to have to hit every single skill check or lose the entire project.