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paladinofshojo
2012-02-05, 11:56 PM
As a gamer whos roots trace back to India I always fascinated with Indian history. Such as the Kshatriya, the warrior caste of India. Also I have always thought of rolling a warrior from a distinctly Indian-esqe country who's on a quest in a European land. So I'm looking for help to create a class modeled around these fearsome ancient warriors.

Mark Hall
2012-02-06, 12:11 AM
For which game?

And for most of D&D, how does this differ from a fighter?

Gralamin
2012-02-06, 12:12 AM
As a gamer whos roots trace back to India I always fascinated with Indian history. Such as the Kshatriya, the warrior caste of India. Also I have always thought of rolling a warrior from a distinctly Indian-esqe country who's on a quest in a European land. So I'm looking for help to create a class modeled around these fearsome ancient warriors.

The first question to ask is 'Is there anything the Kshatriya did that isn't modelled well already?'

A quick look at their wikipedia page (hardly thorough, but enough to get a basic idea) suggests they were just skilled warriors - I do not see any references to special techniques, or fighting styles.

Since this is in "Roleplaying Games" and not a more specialized forum, I don't know what system you are even looking at, so here are some ideas:

D&D 3.5
Take the Warblade (Tome of Battle), or Fighter, and simply change the fluff to match the Kshatriya more closely.

D&D 4e
Take the Fighter class, or the Paladin if you want to play up the association with Hinduism.

paladinofshojo
2012-02-06, 12:13 AM
Well for 3.5, I can't seem to find any Indian themed warrior class in any source book.

Ravens_cry
2012-02-06, 12:19 AM
What specific traits do you feel would make an Indian themed warrior class?
That's pretty much what we're asking here.

Vitruviansquid
2012-02-06, 12:19 AM
What would this Indian trait entail?

gkathellar
2012-02-06, 01:01 AM
I know that the whole "Oriental Adventures" thing has conditioned us to this odd expectation that Asian cultural analogues must have their own, somehow different game mechanics than European ones, but I'm just not seeing it. Unless there are some very concrete things you expect from a Kshatriya as opposed to a warrior from some other cultural analogue, I'd suggest that you don't need any kind of new class or mechanics.

What I would bear in mind is that Kshatriya is the class of warriors and of the nobility. It applies to professional soldiers the like of knights and warrior-aristocrats. This lone warrior could very well be a nobleman or a prince, or at the very least a leader of men. Probably even somewhat learned. That says a White Raven/Diamond Mind Warblade to me.

Ashtagon
2012-02-06, 03:14 AM
The 3.0e Oriental Adventures book had a web supplement for adapting it to an Indian subcontinent setting. You'll probably find something in that if you can locate the pdf of the supplement. There;'s a Dragon magazine issue in the 300s that updated OA to 3.5e standards.

That said, warblade probably works well for this too.

Yora
2012-02-06, 06:17 AM
OA says they are samurai, which pretty much makes perfect sense. A fighter with some skills that fit nobility.

TheHarshax
2012-02-06, 08:58 AM
I too have read a lot about the weapons and techniques of the Kshatriya caste.

Two things, that aren't modeled by the D&D Fighter Class:
1. Kshatriya cast had a specific code of conduct.
2. The Indian warrior class were effective unarmored combatants.

Eldan
2012-02-06, 09:37 AM
Eh. Take Improved Unarmed Strike. Roleplay your code of conduct. Play any warrior class.

Really, so far that seems close enough.

Also, as an aside: at least wrestling was part of many a Knight's training, going by the handbooks from that time. It wouldn't surprise me if some form of boxing was in as well.

Friv
2012-02-06, 09:46 AM
I too have read a lot about the weapons and techniques of the Kshatriya caste.

Two things, that aren't modeled by the D&D Fighter Class:
1. Kshatriya cast had a specific code of conduct.
2. The Indian warrior class were effective unarmored combatants.

A Lawful fighter with a 1-level monk dip, then? When you wear your armor you've traded +1 to hit and an average 1 HP for +2 Reflex and Will, improved skill points, and two unarmed combat feats, and when you take your armor off you're also faster, can flurry your attacks and have a slightly higher AC than other unarmoured people. Problem solved.

(Well, solved as much as playing a fighter solves anything. You can easily substitute Fighter for Warblade here, but I'm not sure what you lose out on if you drop a warblade level.)

TheHarshax
2012-02-06, 10:08 AM
A Lawful fighter with a 1-level monk dip, then? When you wear your armor you've traded +1 to hit and an average 1 HP for +2 Reflex and Will, improved skill points, and two unarmed combat feats, and when you take your armor off you're also faster, can flurry your attacks and have a slightly higher AC than other unarmoured people. Problem solved.

(Well, solved as much as playing a fighter solves anything. You can easily substitute Fighter for Warblade here, but I'm not sure what you lose out on if you drop a warblade level.)

To be honest, I was replying from an older-edition mindset, but I agree that if you're playing d20, monk-fighter is the way to go.

Slipperychicken
2012-02-06, 10:55 AM
If all the caste is known for is hitting things hard and fast, you just pick up your preferred martial build and RP the Indian-ness.


[after reading Wikipedia article]: These guys just seem like martial guys with a decent skill list. Warblades are a popular choice for this kind of thing.

Nerd-o-rama
2012-02-06, 11:35 AM
Warblade or Warblade with a dip in Monk sounds like it would cover both the abilities and ideals (discipline, leadership, never bending or surrendering thanks to stupidly high saves) that the Kshatriya caste was held to have. Although the Monk dip can add serious MAD, it might be worth it just for flurry and snap kick if you can find full-attack friendly maneuvers. Paladin with a reflavored Code could also work if you want to give them some divine spells.

gkathellar
2012-02-06, 02:15 PM
Paladin with a reflavored Code could also work if you want to give them some divine spells.

Actual magic is usually reserved for the Brahmin caste in Hindu mythology, with exceptions counted chiefly among demigods and incarnations of the deities (whathisface in the Ramayana also comes to mind, the kshatriya who meditated so hard that there was a danger he would destroy the world).

TheHarshax
2012-02-06, 03:51 PM
The differences are also related to climate. Ancient Harrapa is a hot tiger-infested jungle. This is why a few levels of monk work well for this, as well as any other tropical warrior class.

Yanagi
2012-02-06, 07:45 PM
Kshatriya is a term for a heritable social station--varna in Sanskrit--and literally glosses as "holder of authority." From the earliest Hindu documents preceding forward, it's been associated with administration of law, temporal power, and warfare. Subindexed to the concept of varna are jati, which are the familial/clan lineages that have inherited social and ritual status, and are often affiliated with a specific role or region of the subcontinent. In real life there are many Kshatriya jati of different status levels; generally their identity--or at least their description of their origins--includes some administrative, authoritative, or martial role. But it's a range covering everything from local feudal landlords to emperors.

If there's a classic image of the kshatriya as warrior, it would be the protagonists and antagonists of the Mahabharata: men who were both nobility and high-status warriors, skilled in both governance and combat: the equivalent of the heroes of the Iliad...fighting duels on the battlefield rather than participating in massed melee.

Traditionally, the Hindu marital hero is a master of many weapons--as well as of riding, charioteering, and wrestling--but the bow is the most commonly-depicted tool of such a character. In many tales, mastery of archery also means command of astras--arcane weapons that a disciplined and skilled warrior can summon and channel into a weapon...almost always an arrow. The supernatural powers of these weapons equate with D&D spells in terms of destructiveness and variety of effects. Staying in game terms, astras are comparable to save-or-die attacks versus singles targets and area-of-effect blast spells...there's even a few that act like summonings.

I can't pin down one way to depict the above with D&D class mechanics. Martial Maneuver classes come close, but don't include the ranged component. I can't arrive at a gish that works perfectly, either.

Eldan
2012-02-07, 08:03 AM
Right. If you want something like that, you could take a Soulbow (not the best choice, really, even if it s a lot better than the base soulknife), Psychic Warrior, or take one of the homebrew martial disciplines that include ranged attacks. One, at least, I remember having elemental attacks. Arcane Archer would be possible, but it is pretty terrible.

Ziegander
2012-02-07, 08:44 AM
JulesCARV, at the old Wizards boards, made this (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19522398/The_Kshatriya&post_num=2) a few years ago. Admittedly, it's not that good, but it's the only existing attempt at a Kshatriya class that I know of.

TheHarshax
2012-02-07, 08:54 AM
Right. If you want something like that, you could take a Soulbow (not the best choice, really, even if it s a lot better than the base soulknife), Psychic Warrior, or take one of the homebrew martial disciplines that include ranged attacks. One, at least, I remember having elemental attacks. Arcane Archer would be possible, but it is pretty terrible.

I think the psi-warrior would be ideal. Didn't Green Ronin do a Mystic Vistas that was essentially Psychic-India? (plus something very, very odd)

Nerd-o-rama
2012-02-07, 09:39 AM
Kshatriya is a term for a heritable social station--varna in Sanskrit--and literally glosses as "holder of authority." From the earliest Hindu documents preceding forward, it's been associated with administration of law, temporal power, and warfare. Subindexed to the concept of varna are jati, which are the familial/clan lineages that have inherited social and ritual status, and are often affiliated with a specific role or region of the subcontinent. In real life there are many Kshatriya jati of different status levels; generally their identity--or at least their description of their origins--includes some administrative, authoritative, or martial role. But it's a range covering everything from local feudal landlords to emperors.

Well, Paladins (meant to represent the European warrior-governor class, in particular the knight-errant subset popular in literature) and Samurai (meant to represent the Japanese warrior-governor class, in particular the bushi subset popular in literature) both get their own classes. Since the Paladin is mechanically mildly less tied to its original culture than the Samurai in 3.x D&D (which is what I think we're all talking about here), that's why I suggested it as an equivalent. I suggested adding in a splash of monk mostly to allow for more feats of unarmored or unarmed dexterity and not suffocating in a tiger-infested jungle but partly because I found it amusing to suggest that to the OP - paladinofshojo - since the first Paladin of Shojo we meet in Order of the Stick was, in fact, a monk/paladin of the Samurai social class.

AtwasAwamps
2012-02-07, 01:45 PM
Huh. I didn't realize there was any real thought here.

Kshatriya were, in a very real sense, the Indian noble caste. The perfect analog here is the Knight or Paladin, reflavored slightly, if we're going to stick with historical rather than mythical Kshatriya. Kshatriya were most certainly not really unarmored combatants, fighting in the equivalent of heavy or medium armor most of the time, often mounted or on chariots. It is worth noting that archery was a major part of Kshatriya training, as well as thrown weaponry...swordplay is admittedly not emphasized excessively as a worthy skill in most epics and manuals and it is often through use of a bow that warrior is considered epic, so perhaps there is something in that. But most certainly knights and paladins have a similar code/honor system to the Kshatriya warrior caste and there exist builds with both classes that take advantage of ranged weaponry that could be adapted to normal play.

If one was to try and emulate the more mythical feats of the Kshatriya, then I would strongly suggest Warblade or Psychic Warrior. While one would have to take a feat or multiclass to gain access to ranged weaponry on a Warblade, a Warblade archer build is not a bad idea and can work extremely well thanks to the boosts and stances available to a martial adept user. The same is true of the Psychic Warrior, whose buffs and psionics can allow a character to do amazing things that resemble mythic feats. These two classes do not neccessarily have a code of conduct, but there is no reason you cannot stretch yourself to have your character live by one regardless.

I would point to Miko as an example...She was a Samurai, but her class was paladin. Kshatriya being more of a social construct, there is no reason your character could not be a Kshatriya, living by a strict moral code, while being trained as a Warblade or something similar. Arjun did learn much of his warrior skills while at a hermit's ashram, I believe?