View Full Version : Full Attacking With Style [3.5, PrC, PEACH]

2010-01-02, 02:39 PM
This is my first homebrew for 3.5, so it may be very horrible. The objective of this class was not to give melee something to do besides full attack every round, but to make that full attack something interesting. The class's abilities encourage getting off a ton of attacks, and allow it to move from opponent to opponent more effectively. Iteratives now matter, since the last ones will have powerful effects riding on them. The class also gets Haste so that even without getting attacks from different sources it's possible for a straight Fighter to make five attacks per round. Of course, the 5th level Forms need some trying to get to because they are immensely powerful.

Kata Initiate

"How would you like to die today?"

The Kata Initiate embodies a doctrine of variety, and each attack they rain upon their foes comes with a twist. Kata Initiates learn to augment their melee attacks with additional effects, and make each successive attack more devastating. The deadly dance of the Kata can be adapted to any type of melee fighting style, though the more attacks a prospective Kata Initiative can make, the more powerful their style will become. The individual Kata Initiate can shift his style to fight against one foe or many, and stand still or flit about the battlefield.

Kata Initiates come from all types of disciplines, but they are drawn to the style through their focus on multiple attacks.

Skills: 8 ranks in at least two STR, DEX or CON-based skills
Feats: Weapon Focus in a melee weapon, any two Improved (Sunder, Overrun, Bull Rush, Trip, Disarm, Feint, Grapple, Overrun, Two Weapon/Multi-Weapon Fighting, Shield Bash, Unarmed Strike) feats
Special: BAB +6 or Flurry of Blows class feature

Class Skills
The Kata Initiate's class skills are Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Escape Artist, Jump, Ride, Sleight of Hand, Swim, Tumble and Use Rope
Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int

Hit Dice: d10

{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special

+0|1st Form, Honoured Tradition

+0|Bonus Form, Haste 1/day

+1|2nd Form, Combat Movement

+1|Bonus Form, Haste 2/day

+1|3rd Form, Multiattack Mastery

+2|Bonus Form, Haste 3/day

+2|4th Form, Double Form

+2|Bonus Form, Haste 4/day

+3|5th Form, Advanced Combat Movement

+3|Endless Kata, Bonus Form, Haste 5/day[/table]

Weapon Proficiencies: Kata Initiates are proficient with all simple and martial melee weapons, but gain no proficiencies with armour or shields.

Honoured Tradition: A Paladin, Monk or any other class with a multiclass restriction may continue advancing as that class. Furthermore, Kata Initiate levels stack with the appropriate class levels for determining Smite attacks per day (for any Smites, such as the Incarnate's Smite Opposition), Flurry of Blows effects and unarmed damage.

Forms: At 1st level and every odd level thereafter, a Kata Initiate gains use of an additional level of Forms and one Form from that level. While making a full attack, a Kata Initiate can apply one Form he knows to a melee attack he makes against an opponent he has already struck at least once this round. Higher level forms require more hits before they can be used, with each level of form requiring a number of attacks equal to its level. For example, a 9th level Kata Initiate must hit with 5 melee attacks before he can use a 5th level form, but those attacks can have other forms attached to them.
All Forms are Extraordinary unless otherwise specified.

Bonus Form: At 2nd level and every even level thereafter, a Kata Initiate learns an additional Form from a level of Forms that he already knows. A Kata Inititate can choose a Fighter Bonus Feat instead, but must meet all prerequisites for it.

Haste (Sp): Kata Initiates move through their forms with precision and speed. At 2nd level, the Kata Initiative gains Haste as a Spell-like Ability, with daily uses equal to half the Kata Initiate's class level and caster level equal to the class level.

Combat Movement (Ex): At 3rd level, the Kata Initiate learns to move with his attacks. He may take a 5ft step in between any two attacks that he has applied a Form to. This does not count against the normal limit of one 5ft step per turn. At 9th level, the Kata Initiate can take 10ft steps instead, though these provoke attacks of opportunity.

Multiattack Mastery (Ex): At 5th level, the Kata Initiate gains a cumulative +1 bonus on attack rolls for every successful attack he makes after the first attack in a round. This cumulative bonus lasts until the end of the Kata Initiate's turn and may not exceed the total attack bonus of the first attack.

Double Form (Ex): At 7th level, the Kata Initiate can combine any two forms that he knows when making a melee attack, provided that both are eligible to be used. He may not choose the same form twice.

Endless Kata (Ex): At 10th level, the Kata Initiate learns to keep the rhythm of his attacks when switching from foe to foe. All of his attacks that have hit this round count for determining what level of Form can be applied to the next one, even if they were not made against the same opponent.


1st-level Forms

Get Over Here!: If this attack hits, the Kata Initiate can move the target 5 feet. The target does not provoke an attack of opportunity from the Kata Initiate, but may provoke from others.
Predator's Charge: The Kata Initiate's attack is a Charge attack against any eligible target, with the normal bonuses and penalties associated with a charge. The Kata Initiate may continue making attacks as normal after the charge, if he has any left for the round. The Kata Initiate may not use this form to move more than twice his speed per round in total.
Confident Assault: The Kata Initiate gains a morale bonus to attack and damage equal to the number of attacks the target has already been hit with in this round.
Prismatic Strike (Fire): The Kata Initiate's attack deals fire damage instead of the type it normally would. This is a Supernatural ability.
Variant Style: The Kata Initiate's attack deals piercing, slashing or bludgeoning damage (player's choice) instead of the type it normally would.

2nd-level Forms

Phantom Blade: The Kata Initiate may feint as a free action immediately after his attack.
Prismatic Strike (Cold): The Kata Initiate's attack deals cold damage instead of the type it normally would. This is a Supernatural ability.
Blade Magic: The Kata Initiate's attack is treated as magic in addition to any types it already has.
Pierce the Heavens: The Kata Initiate's attack strikes all enemies in a line equal to five feet for every attack he has hit with this round. The attack counts as a single hit if its hits at least one foe.

3rd-level Forms

Nowhere to Run: The Kata Initiate's attacks strike his opponent from all sides. If this attack hits, the target must succeed on a Will save equal to 10 + the Kata Initiate's class level + the number of attacks the target has been hit with this round or become dazed for 1 round.
Prismatic Strike (Electricity): The Kata Initiate's attack deals electricity damage instead of the type it normally would. This is a Supernatural ability.
Planar Punishment: The Kata Initiate's attack is treated as Lawful, Chaotic, Good or Evil (player's choice) in addition to any types it already has.
Enormous Blow: The Kata Initiate's attack strikes all enemies in a 15ft cone. The attack counts as a single hit if its hits at least one foe.
Combat Aptitude: The Kata Initiate may make a Bull Rush, Disarm, Sunder or Trip attempt as a free action immediately following this attack.

4th-level Forms

Prismatic Strike (Acid): The Kata Initiate's attack deals acid damage instead of the type it normally would. This is a Supernatural ability.
Pillar of Swords: The Kata Initiate's attacks create a Blade Barrier effect in the target's square, with the caster level equal to the Kata Initiate's class level and Reflex save equal to 10 + the Kata Initiate's class level + the number of attacks the target has been hit with this round. The Pillar of Swords lasts until the start of the Kata Initiate's next turn.
Executioner's Swing: The Kata Initiate's attack strikes all enemies in a semicircle with a radius of 20 feet. The attack counts as a single hit if its hits at least one foe.
Rending Slash: The Kata Initiate tears through his enemy's flesh and inflicts a gaping wound, with the value equal to the number of attacks he has hit the target with in the round .

Gaping Wound: A gaping wound is always inflicted with a value. At the beginning of its turn, a creature with a gaping wound takes damage equal to that value, and the value decreases by one. When the value becomes 0, the gaping wound ends. A gaping wound counts as a condition for the effects of Iron Heart Surge. Creatures with no CON score are immune to gaping wounds. Creatures with Regeneration or Fast Healing reduce the value of a gaping wound by two each turn, instead of one.

5th-level Forms

Hurricane of Destruction: The Kata Initiate's attack hits all enemies in a 30ft radius instead of just his target. The Kata Initiate rolls attack and damage once, but may apply precision damage or effects that only work on one target only once. After using this Form, the Kata Initiate cannot make any more attacks this round, except for Attacks of Opportunity.
Why Won't You Die: If this attack hits, its target must make a Fortitude save equal to 10 + the Kata Initiate's class level + the number of attacks the target has been hit with this round or be slain instantly as its body explodes into ludicrous gibs or falls apart into neat slices, at the Kata Initiate's option. Enemies to whom this would not be lethal (oozes, ghosts, creatures that can regenerate, etc.) are not killed.
Prismatic Strike (Sonic): The Kata Initiate's attack deals sonic damage instead of the type it normally would. This is a Supernatural ability.
Legendary Onslaught: The Kata Initiate's attack is treated as Epic in addition to any other types it has.

2010-01-02, 02:59 PM
I like Rending Slash, but the Gaping Wound condition needs to be more clearly outlined, probably separately from the form

2010-01-02, 03:04 PM
If the forms are extraordinary abilities, how are you justifying the prismatic strike line? Those clearly seem to use some form of magic, and thus would change the type of the form to a supernatural ability. Almost all energy-based abilities are supernatural, with very few exceptions.

2010-01-02, 03:10 PM
While a PrC is the most elegant way to integrate something like this, I feel like a lot of things should automatically happen for anyone capable of making a full attack.

...Nevertheless, this is awesome...

2010-01-02, 03:19 PM
Interesting class, indeed, though I do have a couple of nitpicks.

First off, the Special requirement is open to a lot of interpretation, as anybody and their brother can make 2 or more melee attacks in a round, if they're willing to take the monstrous two-weapon fighting penalties without having Two-Weapon Fighting. I'd recommend just going with BAB +6, as that sets up the PRC to be available at roughly the same time with the skill requirements.

Combat Movement should say you get a 2nd 5 foot step, as it makes it sound like that by the description of it that you can't 5 foot during a round, which you can, actually. It's just needs some cleaning up to make it clearer.

Some way to make your iteratives more accurate would have been nice, not temporarily like Third Time's the charm but something like reducing the iterative penalty between attacks, even if by -1. It'd make the area attack forms more usable, as it currently feels like a flurry of misses waiting to happen.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

2010-01-02, 04:16 PM
Gaping Wound has been clarified and (Su) tags added to the Prismatic line. Third Time's The Charm is now Multiattack Mastery, and much more powerful. Combat Movement has been cleared up. Special requirement has been changed to BAB +6.

2010-01-02, 04:22 PM
Gaping Wound has been clarified and (Su) tags added to the Prismatic line. Third Time's The Charm is now Multiattack Mastery, and much more powerful. Combat Movement has been cleared up. Special requirement has been changed to BAB +6.

BAB +6 or Flurry of Blows class feature?

Also, I'm ignoring your ninja-edit for the purposes of this post.

2010-01-03, 10:51 PM
Do you guys think the various levels of Forms are appropriate at the levels they are gained (6th, 8th, 10th, 12th and 14th respectively) and the amount of effort required to reach them? That's the part I'm not really sure about. Oh, and also the parity between effects of the same level.

Multiattack Mastery has been changed a little to clarify the wording. Thanks, dangerprawn!

2010-01-04, 06:59 AM
For a first attempt, this is actually quite good. I really like the idea as a whole. A few suggestions and nit-picks.

First off, the gaping wound condition still needs work. There are established bleeding conditions already, and I think this needs to take a few numbers from them. The main thing you're missing is a form of early removal. Most other bleed effects can be ended early by receiving any magical healing or with a DC 15 heal check; I recommend adding something like that to your condition. Say, any time a victim recieves magical healing, the wound value is reduced by an amount equal to the spell's level, and a DC 15 + wound value heal check ends the effect.

Next. I would like to see a more straightforward extra damage Form line. +2d6 extra damage per form level sounds reasonable to me off the top of my head. There are going to be times where you just need to hit it harder rather than hitting it differently.

You should clarify how Forms interact when using Double Form. Specifically, if I use one of the AoE Forms, do I apply the second Form effect to everyone I hit? Can I combine Hurricane of Destruction with Why Won't You Die to force everyone I hit in a circle to make save or die? This has a huge effect on the balance of the class, and there's no easy answer here. The effect I mentioned just now may be too much, but Executioner's Swing plus Combat Aptitude to trip everyone you hit sounds okay to me.

Good first go though. I'll be saving this one and might even actually use it sometime.

2010-01-04, 04:19 PM
I'd recommend that the prismatic line also deal bonus damage, say +1d6 per level of the kata. Simply converting a single attack to a given energy type isn't very impressive, especially since you can't use the higher-level prismatic forms on very many of your attacks.

Legendary Strike is flavorful but very weak. Ignoring epic damage reduction on your 6th attack at -suck to hit isn't going to significantly increase your damage against a monster with good epic damage reduction, and besides, the prismatic line of forms already allows you to bypass epic damage reduction by converting your damage to energy damage. Plus, if you're fighting monsters with epic damage reduction, you're getting epic loot, and that means you'll shortly be able to afford epic weapons.

A strike that tags the enemy with a faerie fire or glitterdust effect would be nice. It would both improve your accuracy and help your allies do the same. I'd also like to see more strikes that inflict a negative status effect for one round, like shaken, staggered, or nauseated.

2010-01-04, 05:12 PM
Why not use a chart for what forms of what levels the character knows?

1 2 3 4 5
1 1
2 2
3 2 1
4 2 2
5 2 2 1
6 2 2 2
7 2 2 2 1
8 2 2 2 2
9 2 2 2 2 1
10 2 2 2 2 2

Characters can instead learn forms of levels lower than the above.

Next, a problem with this class design is that it introduces a decision and math point between each attack in a multi attack -- sometimes a very complex one (how far do I move? What form do I use? What happened to my to-hit modifiers?)

Given a character who, say, is two-fisting crossbows with rapid shot, two weapon fighting, and flurry of blows, you'll be getting a ridiculous number of attacks.

4 base+Rapid Shot+1, Haste+1, TWF+4, flurry+2 = 12 attacks/round at -4/-4/-4/-4/-4/-4/-9/-9/-14/-14/-19/-19).

Multiattack Mastery, assuming hits, gives you:
on your modifiers. Toss in confident assault, and a target that has been hit once before:
And, of course, the above ends up changing based off the hit/miss count of the character.

Now, the problem isn't with the "power" of this build, but rather with the in-turn complexity, and the fact that melee hits don't win 3e D&D that well.

Next, Executioner's Swing is better than Hurricane, unless Hurrican is already the last attack. If Hurricane is already the last attack, then Endless Kata plus Hurricane can break the game on the next turn (as you get +1 bonus for every target you hit with the Hurricane, on top of other bonuses).

Interesting idea. I'd want more polish to make it easier to use in-game, personally. And fewer fiddly +1 count-based modifiers maybe.

2010-01-04, 08:27 PM
Multiattack Mastery can't increase it above the first attack roll, so you'd be getting a different routine, but I see your point. I didn't want to make a chart because of the bonus feat option, and since it's not that complicated in the first place, unlike a spell progression. But the whole math thing is a problem I hadn't thought of, and I'll have to revise that.

2010-01-04, 09:56 PM
Unless you use TWF and Flurry at the same time, you can't use the fifth level katas until two levels after you complete the PrC.

2010-01-04, 10:41 PM
Hm, do you think it would help if I made Forms usable an attack earlier, then?

2010-01-04, 10:48 PM
I like this a lot. If I had more time I'd stat out a sample NPC and play with it, but unfortunately I don't. That said, I'll definitely be keeping this in mind next time I get a game going...

2010-01-05, 02:37 AM
Hm, do you think it would help if I made Forms usable an attack earlier, then?

Probably something like that. I don't think it would be a huge problem since the level 1 Katas are pretty weak.

2010-01-05, 11:15 AM
The bonus feat thing seems pretty useless anyhow. I mean, what does it do besides say "oh, by the way, this PrC is strictly better than gaining levels in fighter, in case you didn't notice"?

Leave the fighter's their bonus feat every even level -- they don't have much else!


Your clause about "not a higher attack bonus than the first attack" is very strange and clunky.... And relatively easy to bypass, by say a true strike on the first attack.


If I was making a Kata master, I'd have the character have pre-built Katas that go from A to B to C. This would move some of the decision making complexity from in-combat to build-time.

Each form would have to be after a certain number of steps in the Kata.

I wouldn't make progression through the Kata depend on hitting, to keep things simple.

Characters would learn more Katas as they gained in level, of increasing complexity.

The "stacks with Smite and Flurry of Blows" seems overly encumbering (as a nice benefit that only applies to some classes). At least with Flurry of Blows, this class granting those benefits makes some sense.