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Tavis McCricket/Samurai, Variant (3.5e Class)

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Created By
Tavis McCricket (talk)
Date Created: 04/09/10
Status: Work in progress.
Editing: Please ask before editting
Balance: Rogue

{{#set:Summary=A samurai that distinguishes itself from a fighter with several tactical abilities. |Base Attack Bonus Progression=Good |Fortitude Save Progression=Good |Reflex Save Progression=Poor |Will Save Progression=Good }} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Good}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Neutral}} {{#set:Allowed Alignments=Lawful Evil}}


As listed in Complete Warrior, samurai are lousy fighters. This variant seeks to correct that. Rather than simply being a stylistic choice, the samurai detailed below exists to do large amounts of damage in melee, either two-handing or twin wielding. Shields are for fighters and clerics, you are a samurai.

Making a samuraiEdit

A samurai lives and dies on the battle field. Protected by enchanted steel and peerless skill, a samurai is a specialist melee combatant. Even more so, they are an embodiement of law itself. Regardless of morality, a samurai is a disciplined individual who values honor and order above all else. While an evil samurai may have different methods than a good one, both can work in concert without any conflict, if their goals are the same.

Abilities: Strength is by far the most important atribute of a samurai. It dictactes his accuracy in melee, and the strength of his blade. Contitution is also very important, as the samurai will almost always be in the thick of things.

Races: All races can become samurai (as long as the game world supports such a class). Dwarves and hobgolbins are especially suited for this class, from a cultural perspective.

Alignment: All samurai are lawful.

Starting Gold: ?.

Starting Age: Complex.

Table: The Samurai

Hit Die: d12

Level Base
Attack Bonus
Saving Throws Special
Fort Ref Will
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Aura of Law, Detect Chaos, Daisho proficiency, Kiai Smite 1/day
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Bonus Feat, Iaijutsu Master +1, Seeking Blade +1
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Kiai Smite 2/day
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Fighter Equivilancy, Seeking Blade +2
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Kiai Smite 3/day, Flawless Stroke
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Iaijutsu Master +2, Seeking Blade +3
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Kiai Smite 4/day
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Bonus Feat, Seeking Blade +4
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Kiai Smite 5/day
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Flash of Steel, Iaijutsu Master +3, Seeking Blade +5
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Kiai Smite 6/day
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Seeking Blade +6
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Kiai Smite 7/day
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Bonus Feat, Iaijutsu Master +4, Seeking Blade +7
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 There is only the Sword, Kiai Smite 8/day
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Seeking Blade +8
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Kiai Smite 9/day
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Iaijutsu Master +5, Seeking Blade +9
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Kiai Smite 10/day
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Shogun, Seeking Blade +10

Class Skills (Skill Points::2 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Iaijustsu Focus (Cha), Knowledge (Int), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis)

Class FeaturesEdit

All of the following are class features of the samurai.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: A samurai is proficient with all simple and martial weapons, and with all types of armor, but not with shields.

Aura of Law (Ex): The power of a samurai’s aura of law (see the detect law spell) is equal to his or her samurai level, just like the aura of a cleric of a lawful deity.

Detect Chaos (Su): At will, a samurai can use detect chaos, as the spell.

Daisho Proficiency (Ex): In melee combat, a samurai favors the katana (a masterwork bastard sword) and the wakizashi (a masterwork short sword). Many samurai receive an heirloom set of these two blades, known as the daisho. Because a samurai is trained in their use, he gains Exotic Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword) as a bonus feat.

Kiai Smite (Ex): Once per day, a samurai can give a great cry durring combat that invigorates him. When a samurai shouts (free action), his next attack gains a bonus on the attack roll and the damage roll equal to his Charisma bonus (minimum +1). Any attack that threatens a critical durring a kiai smite is automatically confirmed. As a samurai gains levels, he can smite more often. The bonus damage on a kiai smite is doubled against chaotic foes.

Iaijutsu Master: A samurai is faster on the draw than most. At 2nd level, a samurai may draw his weapon as a free action, and recieves +1 to initiative checks. This bonus increases again at 6th level, and every fourth level there after (6th, 10th, 14th, and 18th). At 6th level, this ability counts as both the feat Improved Initiative and Quick Draw for purposes of qualifying for other feats and PRCs. Also, he gains his Iaijustu Master bonus on iaijutsu focus checks.

Bonus Feat: At 2nd level, a samurai gains either Two Weapon Fighting, or Power Attack as a bonus feat. If the samurai already possesses the selected feat, he may chose any other fighter feat for which he meets the requirements.

Seeking Blade (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, a samurai recieves a +1 insight bonus on critical confirmation rolls. He also recieves this bonus on critical damage, before multipliers. This bonus increases every other level (4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, and 20th). This only applies to weapons that the samurai has Weapon Focus with.

Fighter Equivilancy: At 4th level, a samurai counts as a fighter of equal level for purposes of quailifying for fighter feats.

Flawless Stroke (Ex): At 5th level, a samurai gains the ability to execute a flawless stroke as a standard action. The flawless stroke must be declared before the attack roll is made. A flawless stroke is executed as a melee touch attack. A flawless stroke may be combined with a kiai smite. At 10th level, a flawless stroke ignores all concealment and can strike incorporeal creatues without miss chance.

Bonus Feat: At 8th level, a samurai gains either Improved Two Weapon Fighting (if he picked Two Weapon Fighting at 2nd level) or Two-Handed Power Strike (if he picked Power Attack at 2nd level) as a bonus feat. If the samurai already possesses the selected feat, he may chose any other fighter feat for which he meets the requirements.

Flash of Steel (Ex): At 10th level, a samurai gains the ability to execute a melee attack with his katana or wakizashi as if it were a line attack, with a 30ft range. The samurai rolls a seperate to hit against all enemies in that 30ft line. Precision based damage and elemental damage are only applied to the first target. Activating this ability is a standard action. This ability can be combined with a kiai smite (which all targets are subject to), but not with a flawless stroke. At 15th level, the range of flash of steel extends to 60ft, and to 120ft at 20th.

Bonus Feat: At 14th level, a samurai gains either Greater Two Weapon Fighting (if he picked Two Weapon Fighting at 2nd level) or Leap Attack (if he picked Power Attack at 2nd level). If the samurai already possesses the selected feat, he may chose any other fighter feat for which he meets the requirements.

There is only the Sword (Su): At 15th level, a samurai's reach with a katana or wakizashi is extended by 5ft (for a total of 10ft for a medium creature). This does not change the effective range of flash of steel. Adjacent foes may still be attacked while wielding a katana and/or wakizashi. All damage dealt to foes that are not adjacent to the samurai is to be considered force damage (but not subject to spell resistance). At 20th level, the range is extended by another 5ft.

Shogun: At 20th level, a samurai becomes a shogun, and is released from any obligatory service to a lord or kingdom (if such an obligation existed). He gains DR 10/Chaotic, and is constantly under the effect of protection from chaos (this can be supressed and renewed as a free action). Also, when fighting foes immune to criticals, a shogun deals half of the normal critical damage (critical damage is rolled, and then halved).


A samurai that ceases to be lawful loses access to his detect chaos ability, and his bonus damage when smiting chaotic foes. He also loses flawless stroke, flash of steel, there is only the sword, and the title shogun (along with it's benefits).

Campaign InformationEdit

Playing a SamuraiEdit

Religion: Samurai tend to follow the dogmatic teachings of a church as faithfully as they would the orders of their own lord. Some even dedicate their lives to the church, rather than serve a lord or kingdom. Heironeous, St. Cuthbert, and Hextor are all excellent samurai gods, as are Tyr, Helm, and Bane.

Other Classes: For the most part, samurai and monks are cut from the same cloth. Both live lives geared towards self-perfection, even if they took very different paths to get there. Samurai tend to get along with paladins famously. However, paladins serve both the law and good, while samurai generally only care for the former. For that very reason, samurai rarely get along with rouges, barbarians, or warlocks.

Combat: Samurai fill the same roll as a barbarian in most adventuring parties. With the same hit dice, but better armor, samurai are suited for wading into melee, cleaving and slicing foes. Later levels give a samurai ranged attack and zone control options, allowing them to dominate the battlefield more effectively without swapping out weapons mid battle.

Advancement: If your campaign world supports iaijutsu focus as a class skill for samurai, iaijutsu master is a no brainer for some samurai. Otherwise, a samurai benefits most from staying "pure".

Samurai in the WorldEdit

<-Some quote from a character of this class->
—<-NPC name->, <-race-> <-class->

<-Where characters of this class fit in a d20 world.->

Daily Life: <-day in the life of a character of this class->.

Notables: <-notable NPCs of this class->.

Organizations: <-info on what, where, when, and how characters of this class congregate and assemble->.

NPC Reactions: <-How NPCs react to PCs of this class->.

Samurai LoreEdit

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (nobility) can research samurai to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.

Knowledge (Nobility)
DC Result
5 <-common knowledge->.
10 <-not so common knowledge->.
15 <-rare information->.
20 <-very rare information->.

Samurai in the GameEdit

<-How characters of this class fit in the game (PC and NPC) and what roles they play.->

Adaptation: <-Possible variant conceptions of this class.->.

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