Ok, first post of the new year, so I'm going to post something I've been meaning to put up, but have been too lazy to do so (stupid tables
). This is an original base class (more or less) I devised for use in my Dai Nippon campaign setting. I borrowed some class abilities here and there, but I think it's original enough to justify posting it here. I linked anything that I noticed that was unique to the setting to the parts of the setting that have already been posted here, but the setting still isnt finished and not everything I've made so far is online yet. Please don't post in linked threads, they are out of date. So without further ado:
The wandering mercenary; the yakuza bossís bodyguard; the daimyoís ninja retainer. Yojimbo fill all of these roles - for a price. The yojimbo is a professional guardian. She is an individual who is skilled at protecting a designated client from harm, often by taking her chargeís place as the target of threats and attacks. In return for these services, the yojimbo usually receives compensation in the form of coin, room and board, and sometimes in resources such as access to magic healing, but the exact details of the agreement are between the individual yojimbo and her employer. It is not uncommon for a noble or other important personage to number at least one yojimbo among his personal retinue, and sometimes to make a yojimbo the chief of his security services.
Yojimbo adventure alongside their clients, protecting them and shielding them from harm. They are sometimes sent on independent missions, where they use their impressive array of various skills to accomplish their clientís goals.
The yojimbo is a melee fighter. While not quite as talented in combat as some other martial classes, where the yojimbo truly shines is preventing harm from befalling his charge. Outside of combat, the yojimbo uses many skills to aid and protect his charge, finding and disabling traps, scouting, and often speaking and gathering intelligence on his clientís behalf.
Yojimbo tend toward neutrality, as the life of a mercenary for hire often requires that the yojimbo distance himself from his personal feelings. Yojimbo who serve noble lords or corrupt individuals may adopt good or evil alignments, or perhaps because they are already good or evil, seek out similarly aligned clients. On the law-chaos axis, yojimbo are more likely to be lawful than chaotic. To many the oath of service and fulfillment of their contract is more important than personal freedom. Others may leave their clients at the drop of a hat, preferring to come and go as they please.
Yojimbo frequently make offerings to Bishamonten, god of warriors, protection, and wealth. Many also revere the same deities as their local population. Yojimbo who come from noble families often worship their ancestors, even if they themselves are ronin.
Most yojimbo are former samurai or ninja who have had to make their own way in the world. Sometimes yojimbo aspire to the class from a young age, training under an older, more experienced yojimbo.
Most yojimbo are humans, but goblins, namahage, spirit folk, tengu
, and tatsu
have also been known to follow the class. Hengeyokai and Nopperabo are common as well, using their innate skill at disguise to blend in with their surroundings or appear innocuous until they are needed. Harionago
rarely go out of their way to protect any but themselves, but those who pursue the class are formidable. Akiba typically pursue other martial classes, as their clumsy, wild nature makes them poor at defense. More martially-minded tennin might pursue the class, but these are uncommon at best. Kappa
yojimbo are unheard of.
Yojimbo are usually hired by members of those classes who are poor in melee combat, such as wu jen, onmyoji, and sometimes rogues or priests. They get along well with most classes, but are often looked down upon by samurai, who view their mercenary approach with disdain.
The yojimbo is a melee fighter who sticks close to the more fragile members of the party to aid in their defense. They can also fill the role of the rogue, finding and disabling traps while remaining unseen. A yojimbo is a master negotiator as well, and often speaks on behalf of his client.
Game Rule Information
Yojimbo have the following game statistics.
Dexterity is the most important ability for a yojimbo. Constitution will help to keep her alive, as she tends to take a lot of damage.
|Level||Base Attack<br>Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Dodge Bonus||Sudden Movement|
|Charge, Combat Reflexes, Harmís Way, Trapfinding||+0||-|
|Deflect attack (Melee), Uncanny dodge||+0||-|
|Aura of courage, Defensive aid||+1||-|
|Shield ally, Stand still, Trap sense +1||+1||10 ft.|
|Deflect arrows, Deflect attack (Ranged)||+1||10 ft.|
|Armor Mastery (Medium)||+1||10 ft.|
|Defensive maneuvering, Damage reduction 1/-||+2||10 ft.|
|Improved shield ally||+2||10 ft.|
|Improved uncanny dodge, Trap sense +2||+2||20 ft.|
|Damage reduction 2/-||+2||20 ft.|
|Armor Mastery (Heavy)||+3||20 ft.|
|Evasive throw||+3||20 ft.|
|Damage reduction 3/-||+3||20 ft.|
|Trap sense +3||+3||30 ft.|
|Slippery mind||+4||30 ft.|
|Damage reduction 4/-||+4||30 ft.|
|Improved evasive throw||+4||30 ft.|
|Hide in plain sight||+4||30 ft.|
|Damage reduction 5/-, Trap sense +4||+5||40 ft.|
The Yojimboís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Bluff(Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disable Device (Int), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Gather Information (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Iaijutsu Focus (Int), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (nobility and royalty) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Open Lock (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
Skill Points at 1st Level: (6 + Int modifier) x4.
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 6 + Int modifier.
All of the following are class features of the Yojimbo
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Yojimbo are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and all types of armor (heavy, medium, and light) and shields.
Dodge bonus (Ex):
The yojimbo concentrates on defense, both for herself and her charge. She receives this dodge bonus to AC as a result of that focus.
A Yojimbo focuses on protecting his client from harm. This client is called a charge. Several of the Yojimbo's class features are related to his chosen charge. You select your charge when you roll initiative, and it requires no action to do so. You may not change your charge for the duration of that combat.
A yojimbo's combat prowess revolves around his ability to react quickly to his enemies' actions. He gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat at first level even if he doesn't meet the prerequisites. A yojimbo with a Dex modifier of +0 or lower instead gains one additional attack of opportunity per round as if his Dex modifier were +1.
Harmís way (ex):
Beginning at 1st level, the yojimbo may elect to place herself in the path of danger in order to protect her single charge. Any time that you are within 5 feet of your charge, and your charge suffers an attack, you may switch places with your charge and receive the attack in his place as a free action that may be taken even when it isn't your turn. You must declare this before the attack roll is made. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Yojimbo can use the Search skill to locate traps when the task has a Difficulty Class higher than 20. Finding a nonmagical trap has a DC of at least 20, or higher if it is well hidden. Finding a magic trap has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. Yojimbo can use the Disable Device skill to disarm magic traps. A magic trap generally has a DC of 25 + the level of the spell used to create it. A yojimbo who beats a trapís DC by 10 or more with a Disable Device check can study a trap, figure out how it works, and bypass it (with her party) without disarming it.
Defensive strike (Ex):
You can make an attack of opportunity against any opponent you threaten who attacks your charge in melee. You gain a +1 bonus to this attack for every two levels after 2nd (+1 at 4th, +2 at 6th and so on).
Deflect attack (Ex):
Beginning at 3rd level, the yojimbo can attempt to parry a melee attack against her charge. She must be within 5 feet of her charge to attempt this and holding a melee weapon or shield to deflect the attack. Once per round when your charge would normally be hit with a melee weapon, you may make a Reflex saving throw against DC 20. (If the melee weapon has a magic bonus to attack, the DC increases by that amount.) You gain a competence bonus to your Reflex save equal to half your class level. If you succeed, you deflect the blow as a free action. You must be aware of the attack beforehand and not flat-footed. At 6th level, the yojimbo may use this ability to deflect ranged weapon attacks as well.
Uncanny dodge (Ex):
Starting at 4th level, a yojimbo can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She retains her Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if she is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, she still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized.
If a yojimbo already has uncanny dodge from a different class she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead.
Aura of courage (Su):
Beginning at 4th level, a yojimbo is immune to fear (magical or otherwise). Each ally within 10 feet of her gains a +4 morale bonus on saving throws against fear effects. This ability functions while the yojimbo is conscious, but not if she is unconscious or dead.
Defensive aid (Ex):
Whenever the yojimbo uses the aid another action to grant an ally a bonus to her AC, the bonus granted is improved to +4 instead of +2.
Shield ally (Ex):
Starting at 5th level, a yojimbo is skilled enough to protect his allies as well as his charge. As an immediate action you can opt to absorb part of the damage dealt to an adjacent ally. Each time this ally takes damage from a physical attack before your next turn, you can take half this damage on yourself. The target takes the other half as normal. You can only absorb damage from physical melee attacks and ranged attacks, such as an incoming arrow or a blow from a sword, not from spells and other effects.
At 5th level, a yojimbo gains Stand Still
as a bonus feat even if he doesnt meet the prerequisites.
Sudden Movement (Ex):
Starting at 4th level, a yojimbo can maneuver into an advantageous position with uncanny speed. He may move the indicated distance as an immediate action as long as he ends his movement in a square adjacent to his charge. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity and does not count against the charge's normal movement for the round.
Trap sense (Ex):
At 5th level, a rogue gains an intuitive sense that alerts her to danger from traps, giving her a +1 bonus on Reflex saves made to avoid traps and a +1 dodge bonus to AC against attacks made by traps. These bonuses rise to +2 when the rogue reaches 6th level, to +3 when she reaches 9th level, to +4 when she reaches 12th level, to +5 at 15th, and to +6 at 18th level.
Trap sense bonuses gained from multiple classes stack.
At 6th level, the yojimbo gains deflect arrows as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites for it. He may use the benefits of this feat even while armed.
Armor mastery (Ex):
Starting at 7th level, you are able to wear your armor like a second skin and ignore the standard speed reduction for wearing medium armor. Starting at 12th level, you ignore the speed reduction imposed by heavy armor as well.
Defensive maneuvering (Ex):
At 8th level, a yojimbo that takes only a single standard or move action on her turn and ends her turn adjacent to her charge may opt to take a movement action on her chargeís next turn. The yojimbo must end this movement in a square adjacent to her charge.
Damage reduction (Ex):
At 8th level, a yojimbo gains Damage Reduction 1/-. Subtract 1 from the damage the yojimbo takes each time he is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. At 11th level, and every three yojimbo levels thereafter (14th, 17th, and 20th level), this damage reduction rises by 1 point. Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.
Improved shield ally (Ex):
At 9th level, your ability to absorb damage increases. Once per round you can absorb all the damage from a single attack directed against an adjacent ally. In addition, you continue to absorb half the damage from other physical attacks on an adjacent ally, if you so choose. You must decide whether to use this ability after the attacker determines that an attack has succeeded but before he rolls damage.
Improved uncanny dodge (Ex):
A yojimbo of 10th level or higher can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the character has yojimbo levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum rogue level required to flank the character.
Evasive Throw (Ex):
A 13th level yojimbo who makes a successful reflex save against an area effect (Such as a fireball spell or a dragon's breath weapon) may instead give up his successful save to push his charge to the nearest square outside the effect's area, negating damage to the charge. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity and may not exceed the chargeís speed in distance. At the end of the movement, the charge falls prone.
Slippery mind (Ex):
At 16th level, If a yojimbo is affected by an enchantment spell or effect and fails her saving throw, she can attempt it again 1 round later at the same DC. She gets only this one extra chance to succeed on her saving throw.
Improved evasive throw (Ex):
An 18th level, when a yojimbo uses his Evasive throw ability, he need not sacrifice his successful reflex save to do so.
Hide in plain sight (Ex):
At 19th level a yojimbo can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as she is within 10 feet of some sort of shadow, a yojimbo can hide herself from view in the open without anything to actually hide behind. She cannot, however, hide in her own shadow.