"What use are those things if you can't use them to rip your enemies apart, exactly?"
- Ss'artchen, a Crimson Claw, on human fingernails to a very bemused farmer
A crimson claw is a martial artist dedicated to using a fighting style most find primitive to its fullest extent. Specifically, they hone their minds and talons into a sort of harmony, allowing them to perform feats of brutal martial efficiency with ease.
While most claws are technically monks, few other monastic practitioners will admit to including such individuals in their ranks. Their militaristic outlook is disturbing to many, particularly when combined with their tendency to judge others on combative merit. Thus, a significant portion of a claw's honor revolves around whether they have the prowess to defeat whatever comes their way. One thing that can be said about them, however, is that the quickest way to get into their good graces is to beat them in a duel. Crimson claw monastic hierarchy is based on the theory that the strongest have the best instruction to pass on, and they have endless respect for those who can prove themselves martially superior.
However, many of them consider use of magic 'cheating'. While a crimson claw tends to be, on the whole, cool towards mages (or, at least, they treat them like anyone else), besting a claw using magic
will get you not respect, but a fist through the heart when you least expect it.
To qualify to become a crimson claw, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Reptilian Humanoid, or any race born with a natural weapon that deals slashing damage
Base Attack Bonus:
+5 or higher
Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Natural Attack (if possible - if not, Power Attack)
Must best a creature with at least 2 levels in Crimson Claw in single combat without casting any spells
The crimson claw's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Dex), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Search (Int), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), and Tumble (Dex).
4 + Int modifier (× 4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the crimson claw prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
Crimson claws gain no proficiency with any weapon or armor.
Levels of monk and crimson claw stack for the purposes of unarmed damage (if the unarmed damage would be of a greater value than the Crimson Claw's natural claw or talon attack), AC bonus, and base land speed. Speed and damage are modified by size normally.
Whenever the crimson claw makes an unarmed or natural melee attack, they can decide at the start of the attack roll whether to inflict piercing or slashing damage. A crimson claw cannot inflict bludgeoning damage without using a weapon. In addition, a crimson claw deals unarmed damage as though their total monk level was 2 levels higher than it actually was. Monks over 20th level, for this purpose, deal 2d12 damage if medium-sized and 2d10 if small.
At 1st level, a crimson claw gains Evasion if he did not already have it. If exposed to any effect that normally allows a character to attempt a Reflex saving throw for half damage (such as a fireball
), he takes no damage with a successful saving throw. Evasion can only be used if the crimson claw wears no armor.
Improved Claw (Ex):
As the crimson claw increases in level, his strikes become more deadly as he uses his natural gifts to greater effect. At 2nd level, he adds 1d4 damage (of the same type as the normal attack) to the total damage done with any unarmed or natural attack. This stacks with any bonuses granted by spells, the monk class, or any other classes that improve unarmed damage, as this is its own individual number, and is not modified by size.
This bonus improves by 1 dice every 2 levels, as noted on Table: The Crimson Claw.
Claw Bonus (Ex):
Every 3 levels, the crimson claw can hone his natural weaponry to be even more effective in combat. This takes the form of automatic bonuses accrued at those levels as if his claws were magical weapons. Note, however, that they cannot be enchanted further by conventional means. All enhancements granted by this ability stack with each other.
- Sharpness: At 3rd level, the Crimson Claw's claws gain +1 enhancement bonus (including the +1 bonus to attack), are from then onwards considered magical weapons, and strike as though Keen for the purposes of critical threat range.
- Bleed for Me: At 6th level, his claws gain another +1 enhancement bonus (for a total of +2), and strike as though enhanced with the Wounding property.
- Flurry of Claws: At 9th level, his claws gain another +1 enhancement bonus (for a total of +3), and add another attack per round on a full attack action, as per the Speed property.
If a crimson claw hits with at least two claw attacks, he latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals additional damage as if the crimson claw attacked once more that round, hit, and dealt maximum damage.
More Than One Way... (Ex):
A 7th level or higher crimson claw can use Stunning Fist, sneak attacks, and critical hits on creatures that are normally immune. However, the Stunning Fist DC is halved to a minimum of 10, sneak attacks are half as effective, and critical hits simply add character level in damage to the total.
Crimson Devil (Ex):
Once per encounter, a 10th level crimson claw can spend a full attack action to make a special attack. The attack is as normal except that if the claw hits successfully and deals damage on three or more attacks, he immediately strikes his opponent as if all of his attacks that round had hit and were criticals. However, he cannot apply Rend during this action.
Table: The Crimson Claw
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+2||Monk Benefits, Claws, Evasion|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+3||Improved Claw (1d4)|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+3||Claw Bonus: Sharpness|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+4||Improved Claw (1d6)|
|6th||+6||+5||+5||+5||Improved Claw (1d8), Claw Bonus: Bleed for Me|
|7th||+7||+5||+5||+5||More Than One Way…|
|8th||+8||+6||+6||+6||Improved Claw (1d10)|
|9th||+9||+6||+6||+6||Claw Bonus: Flurry of Claws|
|10th||+10||+7||+7||+7||Improved Claw (1d12), Crimson Devil|