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    Alabenson's Avatar

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    Default Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    I've decided to attempt to create a major revision to the 3.5 Samurai base class, hopefully bringing it up to roughly tier 3-4 levels of playability. Here's what I finally came up with:

    Class Skills: Appraise (Int), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Iaijutsu Focus (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (any) (Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Ride), Sense Motive (Wis), Speak Language, Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str)
    Skill Points per Level: 6 + Int modifier

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

    1st|
    +1
    |
    +2
    |
    +0
    |
    +2
    |Quick Draw (B), Honorable Soul

    2nd|
    +2
    |
    +3
    |
    +0
    |
    +3
    |Two-Weapon Fighting (B)

    3rd|
    +3
    |
    +3
    |
    +1
    |
    +3
    |Kiai Surge

    4th|
    +4
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Lightning Blade

    5th|
    +5
    |
    +4
    |
    +1
    |
    +4
    |Staredown

    6th|
    +6
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (B)

    7th|
    +7
    |
    +5
    |
    +2
    |
    +5
    |Iaijutsu Master

    8th|
    +8
    |
    +6
    |
    +2
    |
    +6
    |Improved Initiative (B)

    9th|
    +9
    |
    +6
    |
    +3
    |
    +6
    |Mettle

    10th|
    +10
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Mass Staredown

    11th|
    +11
    |
    +7
    |
    +3
    |
    +7
    |Greater Two-Weapon Fighting (B)

    12th|
    +12
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Strike From the Void

    13th|
    +13
    |
    +8
    |
    +4
    |
    +8
    |Improved Kiai Surge

    14th|
    +14
    |
    +9
    |
    +4
    |
    +9
    |Improved Mass Staredown

    15th|
    +15
    |
    +9
    |
    +5
    |
    +9
    |Death Before Dishonor

    16th|
    +16
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Flawless Two-Weapon Fighting

    17th|
    +17
    |
    +10
    |
    +5
    |
    +10
    |Thousand Cuts

    18th|
    +18
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Terrifying Presence

    19th|
    +19
    |
    +11
    |
    +6
    |
    +11
    |Greater Kiai Surge

    20th|
    +20
    |
    +12
    |
    +6
    |
    +12
    |Strike With No Thought [/table]

    Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A Samurai is proficient with all simple and maritial weapons as well as the bastard sword (one-handed), and with all armor, but not with shields.

    Honorable Soul (Ex): A samurai gains one half his class level (rounded up) as a bonus to Diplomacy, Iaijutsu Focus, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks.

    Kiai Surge (Ex): A samurai of 3rd level or higher can give a great cry during combat that invigorates his attacks. When a samurai shouts (a free action) he gains a bonus on all attack and damage rolls equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum +1) until the beginning of his next turn. He may do this a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

    Lightning Blade (Ex): A samurai of 4th level or higher adds his Charisma modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier to his initiative checks.

    Staredown (Ex): At 5th level, a samurai becomes able to strike fear into his foes by his mere presence. He may now attempt to demoralize opponents as a swift action and gains a +4 bonus to Intimidate checks made to demoralize opponents.

    Iaijutsu Master (Ex): By 7th level, a samurai has become adept at iaijutsu, a fighting technique that concentrates on drawing his weapon and striking in one fluid motion. He may now deal extra damage with Iaijutsu Focus against enemies even if they arenít flatfooted. The samurai must still make the attack immediately after drawing a melee weapon.

    Mettle (Ex): At 9th level and higher, if a samurai makes a successful Fortitude or Will save against an attack that normally would have a lesser effect on a successful save, he instead completely negates the affect. An unconscious or sleeping samurai gains no benefit from mettle.

    Mass Staredown (Ex): At 10th level, a samurai has sufficient presence that he can cow multiple foes. Using an Intimidate check, the samurai can demoralize all opponents within 30 feet as a single move action.

    Strike From the Void (Ex): A samurai of 12th level or higher adds his Charisma modifier to each extra damage die gained from using Iaijutsu Focus.

    Improved Kiai Surge (Ex): At 13th level, a samurai learns to channel his kiai much more effectively. His kiai surge ability now lasts for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier.

    Improved Mass Staredown (Ex): At 14th level, even a glance from the hard eyes of a samurai is enough to give foes pause. The samurai can now demoralize all opponents within 30 feet as a swift action.

    Death Before Dishonor (Ex): At 15th level, a samuraiís honor has transcended mortal limits; the samurai is now completely immune to fear, charm, and compulsion effects.

    Flawless Two-Weapon Fighting (Ex): At 16th level, a samurai has honed his mastery of the two-weapon fighting style to perfection. He may now make a fourth attack with his off-hand weapon, albeit at a -15 penalty.

    Thousand Cuts (Ex): At 17th level, a samurai may also apply the bonus dice from Iaijutsu Focus (including the extra damage from Strike From the Void) to any additional attacks made with that weapon during his turn.
    For example, if a 15th level samurai attacks an opponent using Iaijutsu Focus and takes the full attack action, he may also apply his bonus damage to the second and third attacks he can make due to his base attack bonus.

    Terrifying Presence (Ex): At 18th level, a samuraiís bravery, honor, and fighting prowess have become legendary. Any opponent successfully demoralized by a samurai of 18th level or higher is shaken for 4d6 rounds instead of one. Furthermore, the samurai no longer takes penalties for attempting to demoralize larger opponents (he still receives bonuses when demoralizing smaller opponents).

    Greater Kiai Surge (Ex): At 19th level, a samurai has completely mastered his ability to enhance his fighting ability through channeling his kiai. The samurai may now make an additional attack with each of his weapons at his highest attack bonus when he is under the effects of his kiai surge ability. These extra attacks do not stack with those granted by the haste spell or the speed weapon enchantment.

    Strike With No Thought (Ex): At 20th level, a samurai has achieved an almost supernatural ability to react to danger. At the beginning of any combat, the samurai gains a free surprise round in which to act or is able to act in the surprise round, regardless of whether the samurai started combat aware of his opponents.

    Explanation for what I've done:
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    Essentially, what I tried to accomplish was make the Samurai a front line fighter with alternatives to "I hit it with my sword", while also giving him the ability to function as the party face. I approached the latter by giving the class a much wider skill list (taken from the OA Samurai, CW Samurai, and Aristocrat skill lists), enough skill points to take advantage of said skill list, and also through the Honorable Soul ability, which lets the Samurai function without needing a massive Cha score, which has the added benefit of reducing MAD somewhat.
    To give the Samurai options in combat, I started by expanding the Staredown power from CW, using the Zhentarim Soldier abilities as a baseline. I also brought back Iaijutsu Focus from OA, with a number of abilities tied to it to increase its usability and power.


    Edit Log:
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    I've halved the skill bonuses granted by Honorable Soul, however I've changed the bonus it grants from competence to untyped.
    I've also added Improved Kiai Surge and Greater Kiai Surge at level 13 and 19 to close those dead levels.

    I've removed Gather Information from the list of skills boosted by Honorable Soul. It had the least fluff justification for being included, and wasn't critical to the Samurai's ability to function as party Face.
    Last edited by Alabenson; 2012-08-28 at 07:59 PM.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

    My Homebrew


  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    OK, this is definitely good. Much better that CW samurai. I really loved the stuff you did with Iaijutsu and the immunities, and now Staredown can really make those honorless dogs tremble in fear.

    Over all, I like it. One thing though. I see 2 dead levels. You could use something like:

    Strenght of Arms (Ex): At 12th level, a Samurai treats all light weapons as if they were One-handed weapons. At 19th level, the samurai treats one-handed weapons as 2-handed weapons. The number of hands needed to wield a weapon doesn't change and the samurai doesn't suffer any penalty from treating light weapons in his off-hand as one-handed.

    This is basically to add some punch on top of 2 weapon fighting, you could get the standard returns from power attack, which is nice.

    Anyway, my 2 cp, it's a cool class, T4 definitely. It's great.
    Yes, I know Wizards can do it better, everyone knows it, they have the name of the goddamn company

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    celtois's Avatar

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    I think honourable soul is too strong. Assuming the Samurai, puts ranks in the skills, at +0 charisma, with no items, 20th level He or she would have a +43 to all the skills. Which is overkill. (Also really overpowered in any game which uses diplomacy as written) If you want it to make up for Charisma which is the goal you stated you might be better off with a flat +3 bonus at first level with incremental increases every four levels. For a net total of +8, which is a very respectable bonus. It makes up for lower Charisma in the early levels better, and it closes the door to diplomacy cheese.
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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by celtois View Post
    I think honourable soul is too strong. Assuming the Samurai, puts ranks in the skills, at +0 charisma, with no items, 20th level He or she would have a +43 to all the skills. Which is overkill. (Also really overpowered in any game which uses diplomacy as written) If you want it to make up for Charisma which is the goal you stated you might be better off with a flat +3 bonus at first level with incremental increases every four levels. For a net total of +8, which is a very respectable bonus. It makes up for lower Charisma in the early levels better, and it closes the door to diplomacy cheese.
    I'm not sure, +43 in any skill by level 20 is what you get from an item. Now, that being said, Diplomacy is a problem if used as written, but the other ones aren't that much of a threat to anyone, they are just skills, the most dangerous there (besides doplimacy) is Iaijutsu focus, but that one caps at +9d6, no big deal, as a Rouge at that level deals 10d6 sneak attack, it's kinda OK.

    About diplimacy, if it's really that dangerous or imbalanced, you just limit the uses of it, like "The bonus on Diplomacy checks can not be used on creatures with more HD than the samurai" or some other restriction.
    Yes, I know Wizards can do it better, everyone knows it, they have the name of the goddamn company

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    celtois's Avatar

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    Intimidate, Gather Information, both also problems. Sense Motive can also be a problem.


    Back before the billion splatbooks, the level 20 record for diplomacy was +56. I'm going to compare to that, using only this base class and items from what I remember of the DMG, and feats, because items, spell and feats from the splatbooks are accessible to everyone, the basic number provides a good baseline.
    Level 20 skills - 23
    Level 20 Honourable Soul- 20
    Charisma 16 +6 item=22= + 6
    Skill Synergy = +6
    Skill Focus Diplomacy +3
    Any spells - ?
    Inspire Competence -?
    Items - ?
    The last three don't even matter. You're already at +58 which is more than was possible. Thus too high
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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    Intimidate
    You can't intimidate someone past shaken. Even if you could, you can't intimidate someone immune to fear effects, so I see little problem with this, the worst thing you can do with Intimidate is the Imperious Command lockdown, which the CW Samurai can do.

    Gather Information
    Even if you pull off the Epic Uses of Gather Information, it's still less effective than a divination spell. Can't see a problem with this.

    Sense Motive
    With a DC 100 check you get to emulate Detect Thoughts. That's a 2nd level spell. With a DC 60 check, you get to emulate Detect Evil/Good/Law/Chaos. By the time you can pull this off... is it really game breaking? why is it such a problem before that? because you can't be bluffed? This is only game breaking if the game has a lot of feinting and intrigues, but otherwise... it's just being really good at reading people. And that's still worse than a divination spell
    Yes, I know Wizards can do it better, everyone knows it, they have the name of the goddamn company

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    LordErebus12's Avatar

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by celtois View Post
    I think honourable soul is too strong. Assuming the Samurai, puts ranks in the skills, at +0 charisma, with no items, 20th level He or she would have a +43 to all the skills. Which is overkill. (Also really overpowered in any game which uses diplomacy as written) If you want it to make up for Charisma which is the goal you stated you might be better off with a flat +3 bonus at first level with incremental increases every four levels. For a net total of +8, which is a very respectable bonus. It makes up for lower Charisma in the early levels better, and it closes the door to diplomacy cheese.
    i agree with this
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    Alabenson's Avatar

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    I've halved the skill bonuses granted by Honorable Soul, however I've changed the bonus it grants from competence to untyped.

    I've also added Improved Kiai Surge and Greater Kiai Surge at level 13 and 19 to close those dead levels.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    If the reason that Honorable Soul is fair is that the skills aren't good anyway, then fix the skills. Don't just give the Samurai the ability to surpass all the other skill classes, some of whom have far greater fluff justification for being good at these things than the Samurai.

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    Default Re: Samurai, Revised; PEACH

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    If the reason that Honorable Soul is fair is that the skills aren't good anyway, then fix the skills. Don't just give the Samurai the ability to surpass all the other skill classes, some of whom have far greater fluff justification for being good at these things than the Samurai.
    The purpose of Honorable Soul was to allow the Samurai to function effectively as the party Face without needing to significantly pump Charisma. The reason I choose acting as the party Face to be the Samurai's primary role outside of combat was that it fit with the concept of the Samurai as a noble (in the class sense of the word) warrior, who would be expected to have experience in social matters.
    If brute force isn't working, that just means you're not using enough of it.

    When in doubt, set something on fire. If not in doubt, set something on fire anyway.

    My Homebrew


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