PDA

View Full Version : [3.5] Iaijutsu Master - Unofficial Update [3.0 --> 3.5 Conversion, Please PEACH]



Hawkflight
2011-06-05, 02:01 AM
Hello everyone. I'm itching to play an Iaijutsu Master, but the games I play in are 3.5, and the Iaijutsu Master is 3.0 material. And all the homebrewed updates I've found just aren't doing it for me. Thus, I have set off to create my own update to the classic Iaijutsu class. I have taken inspiration from the original Iaijutsu Master class, as well as well as Rai.auge's update, which can be found here (http://www.angelfire.com/realm3/migdalia/Iaijutsu-Master.html) and here (http://dungeons.wikia.com/wiki/Iaijutsu_Master_-_Unoffical_Update_%283.5e_Prestige_Class%29) respectively. Where possible, I have explained my reasons for each faucet of this class. Please review and PEACH (whatever that means, I'm new to homebrew).

Entry Requirements

In order to qualify to become an Iaijutsu Master, a character must meet the following criteria.

Base Attack Bonus: +5

Skills: Concentration 8 ranks

Feats: Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (Katana or Wakizashi).

Nothing new here, except for the Weapon Focus change. I wanted to let the class use the wakizashi as well as the katana, because the wakizashi as as much an iconic Japanese sword as the katana.

The Iaijutsu Master (Hit Die: d10)
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Class Features

1st|
+1|
+0|
+2|
+2|Weapon Finesse, Quick Sheathe, Iaijutsu Focus +1d6

2nd|
+2|
+0|
+3|
+3|AC Bonus, Lightning Blade

3rd|
+3|
+1|
+3|
+3|Iaijutsu Focus +2d6

4th|
+4|
+1|
+4|
+4|Bonus Feat

5th|
+5|
+1|
+4|
+4|Iaijutsu Focus +3d6, Echoes Of The Edge +1

6th|
+6/+1|
+2|
+5|
+5|Razor Edge

7th|
+7/+2|
+2|
+5|
+5|Iaijutsu Focus +4d6

8th|
+8/+3|
+2|
+6|
+6|Bonus Feat, Strike With No Thought

9th|
+9/+4|
+3|
+6|
+6|Iaijutsu Focus +5d6

10th|
+10/+5|
+3|
+7|
+7|Strike From The Void, Echoes Of The Edge +2
[/table]
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, 4 at 1st level)
Balance (Dex), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

Not much new here. Choice of skills was drawn from the original Iaijutsu Master, I added in a couple that make sense, and removed a couple that didn't make sense. Notable is the inclusion of Bluff. Also, Spot and Listen, because Iaijutsu Masters are supposed to be really keen.

Also, I found it odd that the original Iaijutsu Master had good Fort and Ref saves, but a poor Will save. The practice of iaijutsu always struck me as more of a battle of wills, focus and wits. Two opponents staring each other down, reading each other, than suddenly *SLASH*, the clang of blades rings through the air as both foes draw their swords and strike! Both foes look at each other and grin, then suddenly one goes "grk", falls over, and dies.

My point is, it's more a battle of wills and reflexes than endurance, hence my going for good Ref and Will saves and poor Fort saves.

Class Features:

All of the following are class features of the Iaijutsu Master.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The Iaijutsu Master is proficient with the katana (bastard sword) and the wakizashi (short sword), but does not gain proficiency with any armor or shields.

Nothing new here. Move along.

Weapon Finesse: At 1st level, an Iaijutsu Master may use her Dexterity modifier instead of her Strength modifier on attack rolls with the katana or the wakizashi. This ability works the same as the Weapon Finesse feat, except that it only applies to the wakizashi and the katana (a weapon to which the feat cannot normally be applied). This ability qualifies as the Weapon Finesse feat for any feat which lists Weapon Finesse as a prerequisite.

Nothing new here. Move along.

Quick Sheathe: At 1st level, an Iaijutsu Master can sheathe her weapon as a free action instead of as a move action. She cannot sheathe her weapon in the middle of an attack or full attack action.

Most people will let Quick Draw apply to sheathing your weapon too. For those who don't, there's this ability. Edited on the advice of the GitP community for clarification: you cannot abuse this ability in order to get more than one strike with Iaijutsu Focus (but see Echoes Of The Edge below).

Iaijutsu Focus: An Iaijutsu Master can channel her chi more effectively when making an attack. Whenever she takes an attack action or a full attack action immediately after drawing a katana or wakizashi, she may deal extra damage with her first attack. This extra damage is +1d6 at 1st level, +2d6 at 3rd level, and increases by +1d6 per 2 levels afterwards. This damage does not stack with damage from the Iaijutsu Focus class skill, and like all precision damage is not multiplied on a critical hit. This ability can only be used when wielding a katana or wakizashi.

Ah yes, the crux of the class. The main controversy over the original Iaijutsu Focus was twofold. One, it was a skill, so there were plenty of ways to abuse this (such as a level of Factotum, Human race, and Able Learner, or just that feat that lets you treat a cross-class skill as a class skill). Two, it was a skill, so one could pump it to extremely high levels via means such as Factotum, Incarnate, and a host of other methods. There was a third controversial point, but it's addressed in the capstone ability. So I simply turned it into a class ability, with a progression similar to a Rogue's Sneak Attack. I also removed the prerequisite that the target must be flat-footed, because otherwise it would be strictly worse than Sneak Attack.

AC Bonus (Ex): At 2nd level, when wearing light or no armor and not using a shield, an Iaijutsu Master adds her Charisma bonus to her Armor Class while wielding a katana or wakizashi. As with her normal Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, this modifier is lost when she is flanked or caught flat-footed.

Nothing new here. Made this a 2nd-level ability because 1st-level was getting pretty crowded.

Lightning Blade (Ex): At 2nd level, an Iaijutsu Master adds her Charisma modifier to her Initiative checks, up to a maximum bonus equal to her Iaijutsu Master level. This bonus stacks with the benefit provided by the Improved Initiative feat or the Superior Initiative Feat.

Originally I had replaced this with a flat +2 bonus, increasing to +4 at 6th level. But at the urging of the GitP community, I have added it back in, only this time I'm capping it by level in order to make it more balanced and discourage dipping.

Bonus Feat: At 4th level, then again at 8th level, the Iaijutsu Master gains a bonus feat. These feats must be drawn from the following list: Cleave, Combat Expertise, Dodge, Great Cleave, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Sudden Strike, Toughness, Whirlwind Attack.

Nothing new here. Move along.

Echoes Of The Edge (Ex): At 5th level, when initiating an attack or full attack action, an Iaijutsu Master can make one extra attack at her highest Base Attack Bonus. In addition, her Iaijutsu Focus damage applies to this extra attack. At 10th level, she can make a second extra attack, applying Iaijutsu Focus damage as per usual.

This is basically making up for the fact that this class only gets 5d6 Iaijutsu Damage, as opposed to the 9d6 (or more at epic levels) attainable from having a high Iaijutsu Focus skill. It's like One Strike, Two Cuts, except it grants another extra attack at higher levels. Also, I think it's more elegantly phrased, so as to work with a full attack.

Razor Edge: Iaijutsu Masters are able to turn even the crudest cuts into potentially lethal attacks. At 6th level, an Iaijutsu Master gains the Improved Critical feat with the katana and the wakizashi. In addition, when wielded by the Iaijutsu Master, the katana's and wakizashi's Critical Multipliers increase by 1. This ability does not stack with other abilities, feats, spells, or other effects that increase a weapon's Critical Multiplier.

Same as the original Razor Edge, reworked to work with the katana and wakizashi. Moved from level 7 to level 6 to avoid dead levels.

Strike with No Thought (Ex): If an Iaijutsu Master of 8th level begins combat within melee range of an opponent, she gains a free surprise round, even though her opponents are aware of her presence. The only action the Iaijutsu Master can take during this surprise round is an attack action with a katana or a wakizashi

I had originally dropped this ability, thinking it far too circumstantial. But upon further reflection, and advice from the GitP community, I have decided it enhances the flavor of the Iaijutsu Master as a lightning-fast striker. After moving a couple of other abilities around, I have decided it works well enough to add it back in as an 8th-level ability. I'm presently considering swapping it with the capstone ability.

Strike From The Void (Ex): At 10th level, an Iaijutsu Master adds her Charisma modifier to each extra damage die gained from using her Iaijutsu Focus.

Ah yes, the biggest controversy of the original Iaijutsu Master class. I made a couple of changes to this ability, in order to hopefully make it less of a problem. First of all, I changed it from a level 5 ability to the capstone ability. This was the biggest and most important change, as it comes into play much later now. The second change is more indirect: on average, this class gains fewer Iaijutsu Focus dice. That means fewer dice for this ability to apply to, which in turn means less damage, which will hopefully be the balancing factor here.

New Feats:

Sudden Strike
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +2, Dex 13+
Benefit: Choose a weapon you are proficient with. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls with this weapon against opponents with a lower initiative total than you.
Special: You may gain this multiple times, applying it to a new weapon each time.

This is a slightly modified feat from the Rokugan books, modified only for conciseness (as I understand).

Veklim
2011-06-05, 12:29 PM
Why is improved critical on the bonus feats list if Razor Edge would render it null and void a couple of levels later?
Otherwise, pretty cool dude, simple but effective re-write.

Hawkflight
2011-06-05, 12:32 PM
Thank you. :smallsmile:

Good catch, fixed. The feats list is looking pretty paltry though, so I may add a few more feats onto it after further research.

Veklim
2011-06-05, 12:41 PM
Have you considered looking through some of the Rokugan books for appropriate flavour feats? There are a few which aren't clan restricted if memory serves and some of them might fit.

tonberrian
2011-06-05, 12:44 PM
Mmm. There is at least one feat that requires Improved Critical as a prerequisite. I feel that any time that you give a class feature to double crit range, it should grant Improved Critical rather than making it Keen, especially since Keen doesn't apply to bludgeoning weapons (like unarmed strikes).

On another note, you may want to state that the improved critical multiplier shouldn't stack with other effects that improve the critical multiplier (or state that it explicitly does, to your taste) to avoid confusion.

Veklim
2011-06-05, 12:48 PM
Razor Edge does need to mention about not stacking with stuff, certainly. No reason you can't also add in the caveat that it counts as the feat Imp.Crit for purposes of meeting requirements though.

Metahuman1
2011-06-05, 02:54 PM
Just a point of clarification.

Does quick sheath allow the player too attack, sheath, and attack again applying Iaijutsu too there damage on all attacks they make in a round?

If so, you might want to move it up a few levels just too keep the Dm that thinks the wizard, cleric and Druid are balanced a bit more in his comfort zone so that he doesn't look at it when a player wants it and go "OMGWTFBBQCHEESE!" simply because it would give a melee character a way to deal respectable damage when ever there turn comes up.

Also, does the damage the class grants stack or over lap with damage form just making an Iaijutsu focus skill check? That would be an important detail to make sure your very clear on.

Other then that, looks real solid. :smallsmile:

Nate the Snake
2011-06-05, 03:38 PM
Also, does the damage the class grants stack or over lap with damage form just making an Iaijutsu focus skill check? That would be an important detail to make sure your very clear on.

It's a moot point, since the class feature is meant to replace the skill. Otherwise, it would be a little odd that the class does not require ranks in Iaijutsu Focus, does not have it as a class skill, and makes no reference to Iaijutsu Focus skill checks. :smallwink:

Hawkflight
2011-06-05, 05:09 PM
Have you considered looking through some of the Rokugan books for appropriate flavour feats? There are a few which aren't clan restricted if memory serves and some of them might fit.

Problem is, I don't actually have any of the Rokugan books. I have a friend who does, so I'll ask him for his advice, but in the meanwhile is there an internet resource where I can find these feats?


Mmm. There is at least one feat that requires Improved Critical as a prerequisite. I feel that any time that you give a class feature to double crit range, it should grant Improved Critical rather than making it Keen, especially since Keen doesn't apply to bludgeoning weapons (like unarmed strikes).

On another note, you may want to state that the improved critical multiplier shouldn't stack with other effects that improve the critical multiplier (or state that it explicitly does, to your taste) to avoid confusion.


Razor Edge does need to mention about not stacking with stuff, certainly. No reason you can't also add in the caveat that it counts as the feat Imp.Crit for purposes of meeting requirements though.

Thank you for your input. I have changed the ability to grant the Improved Critical feat, as opposed to the Keen weapon enhancement (which, now that I think about it, provides problems of its own).


Just a point of clarification.

Does quick sheath allow the player too attack, sheath, and attack again applying Iaijutsu too there damage on all attacks they make in a round?

If so, you might want to move it up a few levels just too keep the Dm that thinks the wizard, cleric and Druid are balanced a bit more in his comfort zone so that he doesn't look at it when a player wants it and go "OMGWTFBBQCHEESE!" simply because it would give a melee character a way to deal respectable damage when ever there turn comes up.

Also, does the damage the class grants stack or over lap with damage form just making an Iaijutsu focus skill check? That would be an important detail to make sure your very clear on.

Other then that, looks real solid. :smallsmile:

Thank you. :smallsmile:

I have edited both the Quick Sheathe and Iaijutsu Focus abilities for clarification.


It's a moot point, since the class feature is meant to replace the skill. Otherwise, it would be a little odd that the class does not require ranks in Iaijutsu Focus, does not have it as a class skill, and makes no reference to Iaijutsu Focus skill checks. :smallwink:

Actually, that was another thing I found odd, that a class focusing on the Iaijutsu Focus skill had it as neither a prereq nor a class skill. But it could be gained by, say, the Factotum, if you're looking for a hefty helping of Gouda.

Also, thanks for reminding me. I forgot to type out one of my observations about the class's saves in the spoiler box below the table. You may want to check it out, as there are more points there I found odd about the original class and fixed in this particular version.

Talentless
2011-06-06, 01:40 AM
Good Job. I look forward to using this update as opposed to some others and just straight porting the 3.0 version in.

However, as a thought, would allowing Razor Edge to stack with Keen* break the class? I mention this as a possible feature swap depending on DM discretion.

To clarify: If your party includes 2 or more T1-T2 classes in it, have it stack with Keen*. If all T3 or lower, don't stack it.

My point is that considering how it is easy for T1-T2 classes to break the game, giving a class that is thematically based on the 1 swing 1 kill slashes seen in some of the older Westernised Samurai movies an ability to get a massive single crit strike off doesn't seem too bad compared to Wizards** who can keep a large number of enemies helpless while simultaneously warding off any ranged attacks and countering enemy spells while teleporting and launching aoe attacks of doom, then using shenanigans for a 15 min adventuring day to refresh everything before the next encounter... Seems a bit balanced IMO.

*Or similar effects.

**Or Druid, or Cleric, or insert *Optimized World Breaking class combo here*

Hawkflight
2011-06-06, 02:04 AM
Thank you. :smallsmile:

No, I don't think it would break the class. I don't think Iaijutsu Focus damage actually applies on a critical hit, which is something that actually bears mentioning. Also, I think those effects stacking would be more a house rule than a class rule.

Veklim
2011-06-06, 05:18 AM
I don't think Iaijutsu Focus damage actually applies on a critical hit...
Doesn't say that anywhere I can find, only that it doesn't stack with sneak or other similar abilities, a crit is still a crit, and both sets of damage, the crit AND the iaijutsu focus should apply to the damage.


Also, I think those effects stacking would be more a house rule than a class rule.
I'd agree, a scimitar would become 12-20/x3 after 8th level if they stacked, that's really a little powerful, especially if you have a massive criticals + *element* burst enchantment, let alone the thought of vorpal....

tonberrian
2011-06-06, 09:22 AM
let alone the thought of vorpal....

VORPAL DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY (in 3.5)! A vorpal weapon ONLY functions on a natural 20! Crit range doesn't come into it at all!

Of all the changes made between 3.0 and 3.5, why is this the hardest one for people to remember?

Kyrinthic
2011-06-06, 10:09 AM
First, Chosen weapon needs to at least be only available on one handed slashing weapons or the like. As it stands a 1 level dip in this class would allow you to finesse any weapon at all. And while a finessable maul would be kinda funny, I dont think thats what you want here. And some of the later abilities applying to a minotaur greataxe is kind icky.

That said, I really think it should be katana / wakasashi only. Its a pretty big part of the flavor of the class, and the weapons arent weak choices or anything. And the 'only while flat-footed' part was too. The whole point and concept of Iaijutsu was that you were so lightning fast you could do incredible damage by beating the enemy to the draw. Turning into sneak attack detracts.

Overall this is a serviceable replacement, but loses a lot of the feel of the original. This class has the feel of a rogue variant rather than what it was.

There were problems with the original, and binding the damage to class levels rather than a skill check is good. But the 'lightning fast' aspect is missing. A +2/4 to initiative is often just as good as a stat bonus, but overall leaves less synergy than using charisma bonus, and especially at higher levels, will be less of a bonus, when going first should be very important. You also removed the 'I start the fight by dropping someone' original capstone entirely, which can be very fun from a flavor aspect.

My suggestion would be to require flat footed enemys, being strictly worse than sneak attack is ok, rogues dont get 1-1 bab, d10 hp, and two good saves. Perhaps give a lesser boost to the IM when not flat footed if you are worried about it. It will also somewhat lesson the in-and-out effect that this mechanic has, since you would need to be sheathing and unsheathing your weapon constantly, which is a bit wierd.

I would also bring back the strike with no thought ability in some fashion, its a very classing feel for the master to decide 'negotiations will not resolve this issue' and start the fight by cutting down one of the enemys before they even realize they are in combat.

I do like the improved crit feat with the extra multiplier, but realize that in a lot of cases your damage will come from Iajutsu bonus, which wont be multiplied. Perhaps instead of an extra point of multiplier, allow it to increase iajutsu damage by 50%, or deal iajutsu damage on a crit even when not flatfooted (if you use my above thoughts).

Zaydos
2011-06-06, 10:59 AM
Doesn't say that anywhere I can find, only that it doesn't stack with sneak or other similar abilities, a crit is still a crit, and both sets of damage, the crit AND the iaijutsu focus should apply to the damage.

Bonus dice are not multiplied on a crit, but the clause is good in that it prevent the multiplication of 5 times Charisma to 10 or 15 times Charisma on critical hits.

Hawkflight
2011-06-06, 01:16 PM
Doesn't say that anywhere I can find, only that it doesn't stack with sneak or other similar abilities, a crit is still a crit, and both sets of damage, the crit AND the iaijutsu focus should apply to the damage.

Ah, sorry, I phrased that wrong. I meant to say Iaijutsu Focus doesn't multiply on a critical hit. It still applies. My bad.


First, Chosen weapon needs to at least be only available on one handed slashing weapons or the like. As it stands a 1 level dip in this class would allow you to finesse any weapon at all. And while a finessable maul would be kinda funny, I dont think thats what you want here. And some of the later abilities applying to a minotaur greataxe is kind icky.

That said, I really think it should be katana / wakasashi only. Its a pretty big part of the flavor of the class, and the weapons arent weak choices or anything. And the 'only while flat-footed' part was too. The whole point and concept of Iaijutsu was that you were so lightning fast you could do incredible damage by beating the enemy to the draw. Turning into sneak attack detracts.

Overall this is a serviceable replacement, but loses a lot of the feel of the original. This class has the feel of a rogue variant rather than what it was.

There were problems with the original, and binding the damage to class levels rather than a skill check is good. But the 'lightning fast' aspect is missing. A +2/4 to initiative is often just as good as a stat bonus, but overall leaves less synergy than using charisma bonus, and especially at higher levels, will be less of a bonus, when going first should be very important. You also removed the 'I start the fight by dropping someone' original capstone entirely, which can be very fun from a flavor aspect.

My suggestion would be to require flat footed enemys, being strictly worse than sneak attack is ok, rogues dont get 1-1 bab, d10 hp, and two good saves. Perhaps give a lesser boost to the IM when not flat footed if you are worried about it. It will also somewhat lesson the in-and-out effect that this mechanic has, since you would need to be sheathing and unsheathing your weapon constantly, which is a bit wierd.

I would also bring back the strike with no thought ability in some fashion, its a very classing feel for the master to decide 'negotiations will not resolve this issue' and start the fight by cutting down one of the enemys before they even realize they are in combat.

I do like the improved crit feat with the extra multiplier, but realize that in a lot of cases your damage will come from Iajutsu bonus, which wont be multiplied. Perhaps instead of an extra point of multiplier, allow it to increase iajutsu damage by 50%, or deal iajutsu damage on a crit even when not flatfooted (if you use my above thoughts).

First off, thanks for the heads-up. I hadn't noticed that particular loophole. Hopefully I've fixed that now. Thanks for the tip.

I'll admit, perhaps it should just be katana or wakizashi. That's something I'll consider changing.

I can see your point about losing some of the flavor of the class, specifically the "lightning-fast" aspect. The reason I replaced Lightning Blade with Improved Reaction was for balance reasons, as the former seemed a bit overpowered, and I wanted to be able to drop this into a standard game with little issue. However, if people think that using the old Lightning Blade ability, adding Cha to initiative, would be balanced, I'm more than happy to add it back in.

I disagree about the flat-footed part. I don't think being worse than sneak-attack is a viable option. It basically makes this class a lot less viable past the first round of combat. And once you've passed the first round of combat, you've lost that feel anyways. Still ... if people think that I really need to keep the flat-footed prerequisite, then I will. Maybe I can add in a class feature at 6th level that allows the Iaijutsu Master to consider enemies flat-footed when she makes an Iaijutsu Strike?

I'll admit, maybe I dismissed Strike With No Thought prematurely. I originally wondered at its usefulness, wondering if anybody would ever start combat within melee range of an opponent. But now I'm thinking, just because I never have doesn't mean people won't, maybe that was just a quirk of my DM. I'll consider adding that back in.

Finally, on the critical multiplier. This is where the same choice benefits both flavor and balance. The flavor I felt fits because the Iaijutsu Master learns to place his strikes better, and thus has a greater chance of dealing a critical hit to the enemy, and dealing more damage when such an opportunity arises. Also, I felt it was balanced this way. Multiplying Iaijutsu Damage like that, I feel, would make the class overpowered and cause people to cry "Cheese!"

IMPORTANT, NEED INPUT! PLEASE READ!

Now, I have some questions for you, the GitP community: First off, is Lightning Blade (add Cha to Initiative in addition to Dex) a viable option, or is it too overpowered? Also, should I make Iaijutsu Focus require the enemy to be flat-footed? Maybe make it so Iaijutsu Focus makes the enemy flat-footed at some point? Post your votes now.

Kyrinthic
2011-06-06, 01:43 PM
I just wanted to throw out that, while fighter is far from a Top tier class, the IM is in a lot of ways an above average fighter, with good will and more skill points. Not to mention class abilities that are generally better than feats. That is to say, that even with only the first attack of a fight being huge from Iajutsu, and the initiative to go first to use it, he is still taking 2 extra attacks and getting some good crit multipliers and and a spiffy AC boost, and like 4 free feats to the fighters 6 in 10 levels.

There are also skill tricks that can make an enemy flat footed as well, I think involving tumble, which is on his class skill list. And there are likely other ways to cause the condition, tho I dont know off hand of any besides the skill trick.

And remember if you do put strike with no thought back in, they will usually get a free attack on that round, as well as going first in the first round of combat, meaning two big hits at the start of a fight, and a third if they have the skill trick.

If you are worried about the Cha to initative, cap it by class levels like some of the stat-AC abilities are, witch both gives a hard cap, and prevents dips from being as good.

If you wanted an ability to make an enemy flat footed, I think it would be interesting to make it an opposed intimidate check (as a move action, so if they do an Iajutsu strike, its a single attack, not a full round of such attacks), perhaps with synergy bonus from Iajutsu focus. It seems to fit the 'staring the enemy down' feel best anyhow.

drakir_nosslin
2011-06-06, 01:58 PM
Now, I have some questions for you, the GitP community: First off, is Lightning Blade (add Cha to Initiative in addition to Dex) a viable option, or is it too overpowered? Also, should I make Iaijutsu Focus require the enemy to be flat-footed? Maybe make it so Iaijutsu Focus makes the enemy flat-footed at some point? Post your votes now.

As a frontline fighter this class already needs Dex to hit, dmg and AC, high Con for HP, and has to choose between Cha and Int as a tertiary stat. I hardly think that Lightning Blade would make this class OP, especially since it only has one other class feature based off Cha. If anything it's a bit MAD, relying on three stats in the class features (dex, cha, int), and one more (con) to be a reliable fighter.
Add to this that either the character has either a high strength, or wasted a feat on weapon finesse earlier or been fighting badly for the first 5 levels.

I'd say that add the Lightning Blade and possibly add that if the character already has the Weapon Finesse feat when taking the first level in this class if can be replaced by another feat the character qualifies for.

Since the new Iaijutsu focus is significantly weaker damage wise than the skill you don't need to worry about the flat-footed requirement. Making the enemy flat-footed against next attack if they are hit by a IF attack and fail a fort save vs DC 10+half class level+cha mod might be cool to add in about halfway through as well.
2 cp.

Hawkflight
2011-06-06, 04:15 PM
Okay, so here's what I'm thinking.

First, I add Lightning Blade back in, capping the Init bonus with class level.

Second, I move Razor Edge up to the now-empty 6th-level slot, and add Strike With No Thought back in as an 8th-level ability. I also move the second Bonus Feat up to 8th level, because that odd progression bugs me.

Third, there are two other abilities I'm considering, but the class is getting a bit crowded so I'd like to get public opinion before adding them in. The first lets the Iaijutsu Master draw his blade as part of an AoO, adding Iaijutsu Focus damage to the attack. The second is an ability to make foes flat-footed to a Iaijutsu Focus attack, possibly at 6th level.

So, thoughts?

Veklim
2011-06-06, 04:38 PM
Since the new Iaijutsu focus is significantly weaker damage wise than the skill you don't need to worry about the flat-footed requirement.
I'd agree entirely with this, there's not much worry about over-egging the pudding with the class limit imposed on damage as it stands.


Making the enemy flat-footed against next attack if they are hit by a IF attack and fail a fort save vs DC 10+half class level+cha mod might be cool to add in about halfway through as well.
THIS is interesting, nicely balanced, and mostly in keeping with the idea of sudden and brutal strikes, a good alternative if you decide to keep the ff condition.


The first lets the Iaijutsu Master draw his blade as part of an AoO, adding Iaijutsu Focus damage to the attack.
Be very careful about things like this. A little cunning is easily enough to virtually guarantee an AoO once per round, especially with a skill trick or two. You'll see A LOT more IF attacks if you implement this.


There are also skill tricks that can make an enemy flat footed as well
Yup, one of my favourites, called Acrobatic Backstab. Huge potential for fun, but honestly it's kinda built for PrCs like this one, so don't worry!

Hawkflight
2011-06-06, 06:32 PM
I've made some modifications. I look forward to hearing the community's feedback, something feels a bit ... off to me.

drakir_nosslin
2011-06-07, 04:58 AM
This is starting to look good :smallsmile:

A few things to note; You need to add in Weapon and Armor Proficiency, even if they don't get any new ones, write that out.

You might want to add that it's only the attack immediately after drawing a weapon that counts as a IF attack. As it is written now a Iaijutsu Master can draw the weapon wait X number of rounds and then strike for IF damage.

Other than that it looks pretty balanced against most other melee PrC:s out there. I'd say a solid Tier 4.

(I still think that you should add that if a character already has the Weapon Finesse feat they can replace that when taking the 1st level in this class, but it isn't a deal breaker.)

EDIT: As for dealing IF damage on a AoO, I'd say; do it, but limit it to a few times per round (dex mod, int mod, class level/2 or something like that.)

Veklim
2011-06-07, 05:43 AM
IAIJUTSU FOCUS...Whenever she takes an attack action or a full attack action after drawing her chosen weapon,
Try replacing this line with;

Whenever she draws her chosen weapon and takes an attack or full attack action with it in the same round,

Probably the simplest/clearest wording.


(I still think that you should add that if a character already has the Weapon Finesse feat they can replace that when taking the 1st level in this class, but it isn't a deal breaker.)
Yes indeed, it's a simple caveat but would make a marked difference for many dextrous fighter builds, the bonus feat list is extensive enough to cover a 3rd bonus from it. I've wasted weapon finesse a couple of times in my playing life and it's a real bummer if the DM doesn't allow retraining!

Also, here's a good idea for a feat from Rokugan (originally a Crane technique feat, makes perfect sense as an IM bonus to me) to go into bonus feats list, paraphrased to be concise:

THE SUDDEN STRIKE
Prerequisites:BAB +2 or higher, Dex 13+
Benefit:Chose a weapon you are proficient with, gain a +2 circumstance bonus on attack rolls with this weapon vs. opponents with a lower initiative total than you.
Special:You may gain this multiple times, apply it to a new weapon each time.

Hawkflight
2011-06-07, 02:27 PM
@Proficiencies: Done.

@Iaijutsu Focus Loophole: Closed.

@Weapon Finesse: This is a bit of a conundrum. As it stands, you may be right, I'll have to check other PrCs that grant Weapon Finesse to say for sure. But if I make this class focus on the katana and wakizashi, maybe the tanto, then it becomes interesting because Weapon Finesse doesn't normally apply to the katana. (It functions as a bastard sword, which is not affected by Weapon Finesse.)

@New Feat: Added.

Veklim
2011-06-07, 02:42 PM
@Weapon Finesse: ... because Weapon Finesse doesn't normally apply to the katana...

You could mention that anyway if you like, but I see what you mean. It's augmented finesse, so not a complete loss if you already own it right?

Sudden Strike isn't actually mentioned in the bonus list btw.

EDIT: I've only just thought about it, but there's actually a stealth feat tax for this class if you DO want to use a katana, it's not one handed unless you have exotic proficiency for it...

Hawkflight
2011-06-07, 03:27 PM
You could mention that anyway if you like, but I see what you mean. It's augmented finesse, so not a complete loss if you already own it right?

Sudden Strike isn't actually mentioned in the bonus list btw.

EDIT: I've only just thought about it, but there's actually a stealth feat tax for this class if you DO want to use a katana, it's not one handed unless you have exotic proficiency for it...

Yes, precisely.

Yes it is. Here:


Bonus Feat: At 4th level, then again at 9th level, the Iaijutsu Master gains a bonus feat. These feats must be drawn from the following list: Cleave, Dodge, Expertise, Great Cleave, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Sudden Strike, Toughness, Whirlwind Attack.

Though, whoops, I need to fix 9th level to 8th level, just noticed that. Thanks.

Yes, I know that the katana can only be wielded one-handed if I have proficiency with it. But the only ability that specifically mentions one-handed weapons is Chosen Weapon, which will get the axe if I go that route. Anything that mentions "chosen weapon" will be replaced with "katana, wakizashi, or [possibly] tanto".

Veklim
2011-06-07, 04:12 PM
Entry Requirements...
Feats: Improved Initiative, Quick Draw, Weapon Focus (any one-handed slashing weapon).

I have highlighted the problem :smallbiggrin:

wiimanclassic
2011-06-07, 04:26 PM
Why not just make it give Katana proficiency?

Hawkflight
2011-06-07, 04:56 PM
I have highlighted the problem :smallbiggrin:

Well, again. If I go the katana / wakizashi route, I will change that to say "katana or wakizashi".

EDIT: Oooohhh, I get what you're saying. Yeah, I can see how that might be a little bit of a stealth ... thingy.

Can't brain today, I have the dumbs.

Veklim
2011-06-07, 08:27 PM
........brain fart...........

:smalltongue:

drakir_nosslin
2011-06-08, 01:47 PM
Bonus Feat: At 4th level, then again at 8th level, the Iaijutsu Master gains a bonus feat. These feats must be drawn from the following list: Cleave, Dodge, Expertise, Great Cleave, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack, Sudden Strike, Toughness, Whirlwind Attack.

Expertise is the old 3.0 feat, it should be renamed Combat Expertise. :smallsmile: (Unless it's a feat I haven't heard of...)

Veklim
2011-06-08, 02:33 PM
Never understood what the point in changing the name was...

Hawkflight
2011-06-08, 02:42 PM
Good eye, thanks. Foxed.

Also, I've changed the class just a bit. It no longer works with a slashing weapon of your choice, and now only works with the katana and the wakizashi. I would like feedback on this, and encourage everyone to reread the ability descriptions. Something about how I've worded them seems very inelegant, but I can't quite put my finger on what I can do to fix that.

Hawkflight
2011-06-29, 11:40 PM
Minor update! I changed the AC bonus from Int to Cha, to reduce MAD. Thoughts?

Cieyrin
2011-06-30, 12:58 PM
Minor update! I changed the AC bonus from Int to Cha, to reduce MAD. Thoughts?

Hrm, yes, I think that works alright.

It should be pointed out that you kinda have a chicken and egg problem with your prerequisites, in that you grant proficiency with katana and wakizashi (MW bastard and shortsword, respectively) but require Weapon Focus in either weapon to get in, which requires you to be proficient with said weapon you want to focus on. See the problem there?

Otherwise, it's a nice update that actually makes it worth going beyond level 5, rather than being a stealth 5 level class once you got Strike from the Void.

As for Sudden Strike, I don't think it makes a lot of sense after the 1st round of combat, as you're getting the bonus while the enemy is off their guard. Once everyone's acted, it just doesn't make sense, as, unless they're flat-footed, they should have their guard up and should have less openings to take advantage of.

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

Veklim
2011-06-30, 04:40 PM
It should be pointed out that you kinda have a chicken and egg problem with your prerequisites, in that you grant proficiency with katana and wakizashi (MW bastard and shortsword, respectively) but require Weapon Focus in either weapon to get in, which requires you to be proficient with said weapon you want to focus on. See the problem there?
Interesting...you could always take a leaf out of Rokugan's 'Daisho focus' and just change it so that any weapon-specific feat you own for either katana or wakizashi now applies to both.