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Nito Master (3.5e Prestige Class)

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Date Created: 29 August 2010
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{{#set:Summary=The Nito Master is a samurai who specializes in using his katana and wakizashi at the same time. |Length=10 |Minimum Level=5 |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Good |Fortitude Save Progression=Good |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Good |Class Ability=Other }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Neutral Evil}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Chaotic Evil}}

Nito MasterEdit

Some call me a coward. A samurai's duty is to protect his lord. Are they so foolish that they cannot see that two swords serve their lord better than one?
—Mirumoto, Human Samurai/ Nito Master, addressing criticism he received for his unique style of fighting.

A samurai is a master of his ancestral weapon, and in the human cultures this is usually a katana. When he becomes a young man, the samurai is presented with the daisho: a katana and wakizashi set (the daisho) that accompanies him wherever he goes. A long time ago, one of these samurai had a brilliant thought: "What if I use both at the same time?" And so, nito was born. Unlike other styles of two weapon fighting, nito focuses, primarily, on using the wakizashi as a shield. In a society that lacks any form of shields, this was profound indeed.

Becoming a Nito MasterEdit

Nito masters are the samurai who run around being badasses because they use both their swords at the same time. Nito masters are usually samurai; indeed, they have to be to qualify for the class. Due to its more defensive nature, many multiclasssamurai/ knights pursue this class as well. Ronin are rarely drawn to this class because of its philosophy of defense, but those who do become legendary warriors.

Entry Requirements
Alignment: While most nito masters are lawful, but that doesn't mean they have to be.
Base Attack Bonus: +5.
Skills: Knowledge (Arcana) 3 ranks.
Feats: Two Weapon Fighting, Insightful Strike or Weapon Finesse , Exotic Weapon Proficiency (katana).
Special: Any ability that includes the word "Kiai".

Table: The Nito Master

Hit Die: d10

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Nito Stance
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Double Draw
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 One with the Sword +2, Horde Breaker
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Mastery of the Void
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 One with the Sword +4
6th +6 +5 +2 +5 Diamond Soul, Whirlwind
7th +7 +5 +2 +5 Mastery of Defense
8th +8 +6 +2 +6 Zone Controller
9th +9 +6 +3 +6 One with the Sword +6,
10th +10 +7 +3 +7 Mastery of the Way, Scrolls of Wisdom

Class Skills (Skill Points::4 + Int modifier per level.
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex),

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the nito master.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Nito masters gain proficiency with all simple and martial weapons, but not with any armor.

Nito Stance (Ex): At first level, the nito master learns how to wield his katana and wakizashi at the same time. Unlike the style of two-weapon fighting, the nito stance focuses on using the wakizashi as a shield. When wielding a katana and wakizashi at the same time, the nito master gains a shield bonus to AC equal to 1/3 his character level (round up) + the wakizahi's enhancement bonus + his Wisdom modifier (if he has Insightful Strike) or his Dexterity modifier (if he has Weapon Finesse). This bonus stacks with any bonuses provided by armor, but not with a bonus provided by a shield. If the nito master attacks with the wakizashi, he loses this bonus until his next turn.

In addition, the nito master learns how to make the most out of his defensive, two-bladed stance. He may make an attack of oppurtunity against any opponent that attacks him in a melee and misses as a free action (and thus not counting against his total attacks of oppurtunity for the turn), but only if he has the shield bonus to AC at the time (so if he attacks with the wakizashi, no attacks of oppurtunity until after his next turn). At 7th level, this restriction disappears.

Double Draw: The nito master can draw his katana and wakizashi at the same time, as a free action. This does not apply when the nito master uses any other weapon(s).

One with the Sword (Ex): Extensive training in both kenjutsu and iaijutsu has given the nito master great insight into the use of the sword. When wielding the katana and wakizashi, the swordmaster gains a total +2 bonus to hit beginning at 3rd level. This bonus may be distributed between the katana and wakizashi as the nito master sees fit. This total bonuse increases to +4 at 5th level, and to +6 at 9th level.

Horde Breaker: At 2nd level, a nito master's experience with two swords means that he can kill really large numbers of people, so he gains the feat Horde Breaker. If he already possesses that feat, he gains a Combat Feat of his choice instead.

Mastery of the Void (Ex): At 4th level, the nito master begins to learn the inner secrets of the Way of the Sword. His shield bonus from Nito Stance applies to touch attacks, and if they are within melee range, he gains a free attack of oppurtunity against them.

Diamond Soul (Ex): At 6th level, the nito master gains spell resistance equal to 10 + his character level.

Whirlwind: By 6th level, the nito master has learned how to use his blades to be dangerous to opponents all around. He gains whirlwind as a bonus feat. If he already possesses that feat, he gains a Combat Feat of his choice instead.

Mastery of Defense (Ex): At 7th level, the nito master becomes so skilled in the useage of the nito techniques that he can attack with his wakizashi and retain its shield bonus to AC. In addition, when wielding his katana and wakizashi together, he interrupts lines of effect as if there were a solid barrier in front of him.

Zone Controller: At 8th level, the nito master has learned how to use his two weapons to control the field of battle. He gains stand still as a bonus feat. If he already possesses that feat, he gains one Combat Feat instead.

Mastery of the Way (Ex): At 10th level, the nito master is a true master of his art, becoming a bastion of defense. When a ranged attack targets him but misses because of AC, he may deflect the projectile into a target of his choice, as if he had fired the weapon himself. Spells that duplicate ranged effects and can be blocked by AC can also be deflected by this ability. This is a free action that the nito master can perform as many times per turn as ranged attack misses him.

Scrolls of Wisdom: At 10th level, the nito master has reached the highest ideal of the nito style, and may compile a treatise of his collected wisdom. If he spends one month composing this treatise, he may distribute it and spread the wisdom of nito and his own personal style. Anyone who reads this treatise gains a +2 competence bonus to attack characters with Nito Master levels, but a -8 penalty to attack the writer of the treatise.

In addition, a nito master no longer takes ability penalties for aging as long as one copy of his treatise exists.

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing a Nito MasterEdit

Combat: The nito master makes the samurai slightly less of a glass cannon. They are good defenders, what with their AC bonuses from Daisho Stance and Nito style, but can also be good at attacking when they use their One with the Sword bonuses wisely.

Advancement: Nito masters are just as likely to gain more levels in the classes they had before this one as they are to advance as a nito master.

Resources: Nito masters are more of an unofficial organization than anything else; anyone who reads one of their treatises can easily pick up on the workings of the nito techniques, so there are often nito masters who have no sensei whatsoever. When two nito masters meet, they often have a friendly duel to the blood (first person to deal damage wins).

Nito Masters in the WorldEdit

Two is always better than one.
—Shishio Megumi, female nito master

Nito masters often roam the countryside, using their unique talents to duel and kill those who would face them in honorable combat. They are often found as the favored bodyguard of a prince, emperor, or priest, where they can use their defensive nito to adequately defend their master.

NPC Reactions: NPCs usually fall under the impression that the nito master is simply a samurai who uses two weapon fighting, and rarely realize that they only use the short sword for defense.

Nito Master LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research <-insert prestige class name-> to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (History)
DC Result
11 Some samurai excell at using both swords of the daisho at the same time. Their style is called "nito."
16 Because they wield two weapons, a nito master can destroy an entire army himself.
21 The nito style of swordplay focuses on defense, and the off-hand blade is used more like a shield then anything else.
26 Information on specific nito masters.

Nito Masters in the GameEdit

Nito masters make excellent defenders and bodyguards, whether they are the personal protector of an insidious necromancer or the righteous defender of a feudal lord, they can be placed and encountered just about anywhere. PC nito masters are the wanderers of the countryside, testing their art against any foul beasties that come their way.

Adaptation: In a more Western-themed campaign, you could change the class name to the "duelist defender" and have them use a longsword/bastard sword/rapier in conjunction with a shortsword, instead of the katana and wakizashi.

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