Author Topic: Samurai Poll  (Read 66245 times)

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bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #60 on: May 27, 2009, 10:30:07 AM »
I know its been a couple days (okay more than a couple) since I posted, but I havent forgotten I swear.  Ive just had some deadlines to meet for my online job and Im spread a lil thin, and Im trying not to hurry and do this one right.

Solo

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #61 on: May 27, 2009, 10:58:27 AM »
You have dishonored yourself and your ancestors.

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bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #62 on: May 27, 2009, 12:25:26 PM »
You have dishonored yourself and your ancestors.

Given the nature of some of my ancestors im not sure dishonoring htem is actually possible.  They're pretty thoroughly dishonored already  :lol

veekie

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #63 on: May 27, 2009, 12:30:04 PM »
bhu wins this round.
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bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #64 on: June 01, 2009, 02:22:17 AM »
Okay I've begun editing in some of the class abilities.  Can anyone think of any applicable combat styles/military positions i haven't/should list?


SAMURAI


   
” The entire country will soon be in the hands of your master, Lord Ieyasu. If this is so, the men who served him will no doubt hope to become daimyo by his appointment. You should know that if such feelings arise, they are inevitably the beginning of the end of one's fortunes in the Way of the Warrior. Being affected by the avarice for office and rank, or wanting to become a daimyo and being eager for such things ... will not one then begin to value his life? And how can a man commit acts of martial valor if he values his life? A man who has been born into the house of a warrior and yet places no loyalty in his heart and thinks only of the fortune of his position will be flattering on the surface and construct schemes in his heart, will forsake righteousness and not reflect on his shame, and will stain the warrior's name of his household to later generations. This is truly regrettable.”

 The Samurai is a warrior noble who is supposed to accept the concept that his only purpose in life is dying in service to his Lord, or for his own honor.  To accept that keeping to the ideals of honor are more important than his own life or happiness.  There are many who only pay lip service to this ideal, as in any other profession in life.  They make things difficult for those who do follow the Way. 

You will be expected to be both a powerful warrior, and an accomplished poet or artisan.  You will be expected to lead men into battle, and in turn be led by your Lord who may ask you to give your life whenever he pleases.  And if your Lord is an evil and dishonorable man, following his orders to your death is still preferable in the eyes of some to disobeying him and bringing dishonor to yourself.  But an evil Lord will eventually put you in the position that leads to your being dishonored regardless of what you do.  At that point you may end your life, or become a Ronin.  The life of a Ronin will be hard.  Your old master may want you dead, your friends and relatives may disown you for the stigma of your dishonor, and finding a new Lord will be next to impossible.  Since the only marketable skill you know is killing, you will likely have to become a mercenary or assassin for money. 

Welcome to Hell.

MAKING A SAMURAI
 If you wish to play a Samurai from the earlier days, focus on archery and horsemanship, because you’ll be called upon to use it quite often.  If playing a character from the Samurai’s later days you’ll need to use a sword (or a Naginata if female).  While males of the Samurai class are expected to be warriors first, and nobility second, it is the reverse for women.  They are taught enough to defend the household, and nothing more.  If they are better fighters than their husband they often keep this secret so as not to shame him.  Later Samurai will always specialize in some particular talent to show they are more than just warriors.
 Abilities: Since the Samurai is a warrior, your physical stats are expected to be good.  As a Noble your mental stats will be expected to be good.  Earlier Samurai are horse archers and will need Dexterity.  Later Samurai who are expected to be warrior-poets will need Wisdom and Charisma to deal with other members of the Nobility.  Many of your Ki Pool abilities will be based on your mental stats as well.
 Races: Only civilized races who have a tendency towards a Lawful alignment produce many Samurai.  Members of races who aren’t commonly Lawful are rarely accepted for training, and openly Chaotic races have no chance.
 Alignment: Samurai are required to be Lawful.  Most are Lawful Neutral, particularly if they follow the Code of Bushido.  Lawful Good Samurai are less common, and many end up becoming Ronin, unable to reconcile their duties to their Lord with what they believe to be right.  Lawful Evil Samurai are monsters, murdering anything in their path, and manipulating the system to protect themselves.
 Starting Gold: Same as a Fighter.
 Starting Age: Same as a Fighter.

Class Skills
 The Samurai's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography, History, Local, Nobility & Royalty)(Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skills Per Day at 1st Level : (4 + int)x4
Skills Per Day at Each Additional Level : 4 + int

Hit Dice: d10

   BAB  Fort    Ref    Will  Abilities
1. +1    +2     +0     +2    Military Training, Ki Pool
2. +2    +3     +0     +3    Iron Will
3. +3    +3     +1     +3    Imposing Presence (+4 Intimidate Checks)
4. +4    +4     +1     +4    Military Training
5. +5    +4     +1     +4    Iron Will
6. +6    +5     +2     +5    Imposing Presence (Staredown)
7. +7    +5     +2     +5    Military Training
8. +8    +6     +2     +6    Iron Will
9. +9    +6     +3     +6    Imposing Presence (Improved Staredown)
10.+10   +7     +3     +7    Military Training
11.+11   +7     +3     +7    Iron Will
12.+12   +8     +4     +8    Imposing Presence (Imposing Strike)
13.+13   +8     +4     +8    Military Training
14.+14   +9     +4     +9    Iron Will
15.+15   +9     +5     +9    Imposing Presence (Frightful Presence)
16.+16   +10    +5     +10   Military Training
17.+17   +10    +5     +10   Iron Will
18.+18   +11    +6     +11   Imposing Presence (Improved Frightful Presence)
19.+19   +11    +6     +11   Military Training
20.+20   +12    +6     +12   Daimyo


Weapon Proficiencies: Samurai are proficient in all Simple and Martial Weapons, and one Exotic Weapon (please see Oriental Adventures for stats of oriental simple/martial/exotic weapons).  They are proficient with all armor, and light and heavy shields, but not tower shields. 
 
Ki Pool (Su): At 1st level the Samurai first begins to learn to channel his Ki to perform acts he would be otherwise unable to do.  He may use his Ki a number of times per day equal to either his Charisma or Wisdom Modifier (whichever is greater) plus once more per  day for each level of Samurai he takes.

Military Training (Ex):  The Samurai is a military occupation primarily, and players can train in one of several positions.  These positions must be chosen at 1st level, and improve with time (think of it as similar to the Rangers Combat Style).  It gives you Bonus Feats at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19.  If you wish to change the focus of your Military training at a higher level (for example you are a Horse Archer, and wish to become a Swordsman at level 10), you must start from the beginning (i.e. you would get the Bonus Feat the Swordsman gets at 1st level).  If you already have this Feat you gain a Bonus Feat of your choice.  You may choose from:

Horse Archer: You are one of the first Samurai, specializing in fighting with shortbows from horseback.

Infantry Archer: You are one of the lower ranking Samurai, standing in the back with masses of longbow archers.

Spearman: You are one of the lower ranking Samurai fighting on the frontlines with Yari, or the wife of a Samurai fighting with a Naginata.

Swordsman: You have studied in a professional Kenjustsu school, and maybe you hope to run one yourself someday.  Meanwhile you fight in the infantry with your Katana.

Double Swordsman:  You have studied Miyamoto Musashi’s two sword fighting style.

Cavalry: You fight from horseback with spears and swords.  Most likely you are doing better for yourself than the average footman.

Individual: You have studied the use of an exotic weapon (or an unarmed combat style) and are well known for using it along with a sword in battle.  You may gain fame from this, but it also means you will be looked down on by some as this makes you stand out and be different. 


Iron Will (Ex):

Imposing Presence (Su): At 3rd level you gain a +4 Competence Bonus on intimidation Checks.

At 6th level you gain the ability to Stare Down Foes, and you can Demoralize all opponents within 30’ with a successful Intimidate Check as a Move Action. 

At 9th level you gain Improved Staredown, and can Demoralize opponents as a Swift Action instead of a Move Action.

At 12th level any opponent you successfully confirm a critical hit against is automatically Demoralized as if he had failed an opposed check against your Intimidate.

At 15th level you gain the ability to terrify opponents simply by drawing your sword.  Whenever you draw your weapon opponents within 30’ must make a Willpower Save (Save DC is 10 plus half level plus Charisma Modifier) or become Frightened for 4d6 rounds (if they have 4 or fewer hit dice) or Shaken for 4d6 rounds if they have more than 5 hit dice, but less than your hit dice.    If the Saving Throw is successful hey are immune to this Samurai’s Frightful Presence for 24 hours.

At 18th level your Frightful Presence improves.  Opponents must save when you draw your sword or you attack, and if they have less Hit Dice than you they are Panicked instead of Frightened or Shaken.

Daimyo (Ex):

PLAYING A SAMURAI
 The Code of Bushido has 7 virtues: Rectitude (a Samurai is expected to conform to the law and rules for moral conduct, and uphold integrity and justice), Courage (he is expected to risk his life in battle when it is possible to achieve something of worth, even if it means his death), Benevolence (he is expected to show mercy), Respect (he is to treat others deserving of respect with such, particularly his lord), Honesty (he must not lie or be deceitful), Honor (he is expected to behave in a dignified manner), and Loyalty (he must do as his lord commands regardless of his personal feelings on the matter).  His honor and his loyalty to his Lord are supposed to mean more to him than his own life, or the lives of others.  In practice, any truly good or evil Samurai finds it difficult to live up to these ideals.  Good Samurai chafe at being given orders to commit evil acts just as much as evil samurai dislike being ordered to perform good acts.  Despite being sworn to a life of honesty, many have a pretty good Bluff skill.
 Religion:  In real life Samurai followed Bushido, and to an extent Zen Buddhism.  In DnD this means they are spiritual, but they don’t really worship Gods per se (though some may still practice the old Shinto religion).
 Other Classes: The way a Samurai relates to other classes depends on several things.  The first being, are they foreigners?  If so they are subject to immediate distrust, and possible open hostility.  They will never be truly accepted by all, no matter how often they prove themselves.  If they aren’t foreigners the question is “What is their station relevant to mine?”  If of a lower station the Samurai can pretty much do anything they like, including openly murdering them if they are not well liked (or their Lord will back them up).  If of a higher station the Samurai is almost required to be deferential, as he can be asked to kill himself if he is considered to have disgraced himself too much.
 Combat:  There are several combat styles open to Samurai.  The traditional one is an armored archer on horseback, which eventually gave way to an armored man with a sword.  Women of Samurai households were taught knife and spear fighting, and many male Samurai learned polearms as well.  Many learned exotic fighting styles or weapons as a means of gaining an advantage over opponents by using a weapon or form which wasn’t well known.
 Advancement: How a Samurai advances depends entirely on the whims of his Lord in theory.  A Daimyo could order a Samurai to take a specific position, and if he ever wishes to have a better position (or at least retain what he has), he’d better do it well.  Many Lords will be pragmatic enough to put a Samurai where his strengths will be best used, but particularly evil nobles will use promotion to rid themselves of honest men.

SAMURAI IN THE WORLD
“One who is samurai must, before all things, keep constantly in mind , by day and by night....that he has to die”.
 In real life the Samurai were warriors hired by the nobility to fight their battles for them.  They began as little more than paid mercenaries known as Saburai (meaning “those who serve”), and were thought of as barbarians by their condescending masters.  Eventually the nobility began to rely on them more and more, and the Samurai evolved into a class of warrior nobility themselves.  While they were expected to live their life by the ideals of the Bushido code (although that name wasn’t used until late in their existence), and were even socially ostracized if it was perceived that they hadn’t, the demands of their position meant that living up to that ideal would be extraordinarily difficult.  A Samurai was expected to be benevolent and show mercy, but the law stated that he could simply kill anyone of a lower station who insulted him.  He was also expected to commit ritual suicide if his honor had been tarnished beyond repair or he had lost a battle and would have to surrender, but there are many writings of the time suggesting that the Samurai were no less pragmatic than any other warrior on a battlefield.  Theirs was a twisted life where their lord could order them to die, and they would be expected to comply.  Failing to do so meant his family would suffer along with him.
 Daily Life: You will always be busy.  When you aren’t training men under you to wield a sword, you are learning to refine your own skills under a teacher better than you, or honing your ability at music or poetry to better your social life in some manner other than killing.  At any moment your Lord can ask you to perform some task, and you must hop to it, and hope the task is actually achievable.  The easiest way for enemies to get rid of you is to dishonor you, or cause you to fall from favor,  Always keep your eyes open, and trust no one.
 Notables: Make up some cool information about notable figures in the history of your class. It's best to give a little information from one of the good alignment and evil alignment (unless it's a good or evil only class).
 Organizations: The Samurai are members of the middle and upper classes, and richer ones own large farms or command armies for the government.  All Samurai belong to a military organization of one clan or another.  By taking the Leadership Feat and doing well in battle a PC could open his own swordsmanship school, or be promoted to General someday.

NPC Reaction
 Samurai tend to make people nervous, particularly if they are peasants.  They’re allowed to kill any peasant who insults them, and some Samurai are notoriously easy to insult (i.e. Lawful Evil).   Nobles above them aren’t supposed to have to fear the Samurai’s anger, but in practice there’s damn little stopping a determined one from killing a member of the ruling class either if he plans it well.  Other Samurai even tend to regard Samurai they don’t know with distrust, always wondering if they’ll have to kill him at some point.

SAMURAI IN THE GAME
 Roleplaying the old ideal of a Samurai will be difficult as it will ask of players to do things they would normally never do: set aside their own desires.  They will have to follow the orders of their Lord, even if he is a disagreeable stain on the face of humanity, and be polite and respectful while doing so.  Most people roleplay to relieve stress, and Samurai lived highly stressful lives.  The class isn’t for everyone.
 Adaptation: The Samurai is intended for campaigns with oriental flavor, but with some work it can be adapted to different settings.  It’s basically a nobleman warrior, and by using different combat styles and optional class abilities it can be used to mimic fighters from different settings.
 Encounters: PC’s will tend to encounter Samurai as leaders (or embers) of military units, lords of various domains, or perhaps bounty hunters assigned to bring them in for trial (or bring back your head if you aren’t cooperative).  Many also run farms, schools of swordsmanship, or retire to monasteries if their career has been blemished.



EPIC SAMURAI

Hit Die: d10
Skills Points at Each  Level : 4 + int
Ki Pool The Epic Samurai gains 1 additional daily use of his Ki Pool for every Epic Level.  He does not gain new Ki abilities except as Epic Feats.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Samurai gains a Bonus Feat every 3 levels higher than 20th
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 02:26:15 AM by bhu »

GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #65 on: June 01, 2009, 09:59:44 AM »
Something that bothers  me to no end with every warrior-like class: they have to devote significant resources to be more or less effective without weapons.
My commendation: give Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 12:42:39 PM by GawainBS »

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #66 on: June 01, 2009, 12:36:01 PM »
Lemme finish up Military training and Iron Will first.  Plus the Ki Pool abilities still need to be figured out, so I can work something in there.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #67 on: June 11, 2009, 01:53:09 PM »
I added in the Iron WIll stuffs:

SAMURAI


   
” The entire country will soon be in the hands of your master, Lord Ieyasu. If this is so, the men who served him will no doubt hope to become daimyo by his appointment. You should know that if such feelings arise, they are inevitably the beginning of the end of one's fortunes in the Way of the Warrior. Being affected by the avarice for office and rank, or wanting to become a daimyo and being eager for such things ... will not one then begin to value his life? And how can a man commit acts of martial valor if he values his life? A man who has been born into the house of a warrior and yet places no loyalty in his heart and thinks only of the fortune of his position will be flattering on the surface and construct schemes in his heart, will forsake righteousness and not reflect on his shame, and will stain the warrior's name of his household to later generations. This is truly regrettable.”

 The Samurai is a warrior noble who is supposed to accept the concept that his only purpose in life is dying in service to his Lord, or for his own honor.  To accept that keeping to the ideals of honor are more important than his own life or happiness.  There are many who only pay lip service to this ideal, as in any other profession in life.  They make things difficult for those who do follow the Way. 

You will be expected to be both a powerful warrior, and an accomplished poet or artisan.  You will be expected to lead men into battle, and in turn be led by your Lord who may ask you to give your life whenever he pleases.  And if your Lord is an evil and dishonorable man, following his orders to your death is still preferable in the eyes of some to disobeying him and bringing dishonor to yourself.  But an evil Lord will eventually put you in the position that leads to your being dishonored regardless of what you do.  At that point you may end your life, or become a Ronin.  The life of a Ronin will be hard.  Your old master may want you dead, your friends and relatives may disown you for the stigma of your dishonor, and finding a new Lord will be next to impossible.  Since the only marketable skill you know is killing, you will likely have to become a mercenary or assassin for money. 

Welcome to Hell.

MAKING A SAMURAI
 If you wish to play a Samurai from the earlier days, focus on archery and horsemanship, because you’ll be called upon to use it quite often.  If playing a character from the Samurai’s later days you’ll need to use a sword (or a Naginata if female).  While males of the Samurai class are expected to be warriors first, and nobility second, it is the reverse for women.  They are taught enough to defend the household, and nothing more.  If they are better fighters than their husband they often keep this secret so as not to shame him.  Later Samurai will always specialize in some particular talent to show they are more than just warriors.
 Abilities: Since the Samurai is a warrior, your physical stats are expected to be good.  As a Noble your mental stats will be expected to be good.  Earlier Samurai are horse archers and will need Dexterity.  Later Samurai who are expected to be warrior-poets will need Wisdom and Charisma to deal with other members of the Nobility.  Many of your Ki Pool abilities will be based on your mental stats as well.
 Races: Only civilized races who have a tendency towards a Lawful alignment produce many Samurai.  Members of races who aren’t commonly Lawful are rarely accepted for training, and openly Chaotic races have no chance.
 Alignment: Samurai are required to be Lawful.  Most are Lawful Neutral, particularly if they follow the Code of Bushido.  Lawful Good Samurai are less common, and many end up becoming Ronin, unable to reconcile their duties to their Lord with what they believe to be right.  Lawful Evil Samurai are monsters, murdering anything in their path, and manipulating the system to protect themselves.
 Starting Gold: Same as a Fighter.
 Starting Age: Same as a Fighter.

Class Skills
 The Samurai's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Geography, History, Local, Nobility & Royalty)(Int), Listen (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skills Per Day at 1st Level : (4 + int)x4
Skills Per Day at Each Additional Level : 4 + int

Hit Dice: d10

   BAB  Fort    Ref    Will  Abilities
1. +1    +2     +0     +2    Military Training, Ki Pool
2. +2    +3     +0     +3    Iron Will
3. +3    +3     +1     +3    Imposing Presence (+4 Intimidate Checks)
4. +4    +4     +1     +4    Military Training
5. +5    +4     +1     +4    Iron Will
6. +6    +5     +2     +5    Imposing Presence (Staredown)
7. +7    +5     +2     +5    Military Training
8. +8    +6     +2     +6    Iron Will
9. +9    +6     +3     +6    Imposing Presence (Improved Staredown)
10.+10   +7     +3     +7    Military Training
11.+11   +7     +3     +7    Iron Will
12.+12   +8     +4     +8    Imposing Presence (Imposing Strike)
13.+13   +8     +4     +8    Military Training
14.+14   +9     +4     +9    Iron Will
15.+15   +9     +5     +9    Imposing Presence (Frightful Presence)
16.+16   +10    +5     +10   Military Training
17.+17   +10    +5     +10   Iron Will
18.+18   +11    +6     +11   Imposing Presence (Improved Frightful Presence)
19.+19   +11    +6     +11   Military Training
20.+20   +12    +6     +12   Daimyo


Weapon Proficiencies: Samurai are proficient in all Simple and Martial Weapons, and one Exotic Weapon (please see Oriental Adventures for stats of oriental simple/martial/exotic weapons).  They are proficient with all armor, and light and heavy shields, but not tower shields. 
 
Ki Pool (Su): At 1st level the Samurai first begins to learn to channel his Ki to perform acts he would be otherwise unable to do.  He may use his Ki a number of times per day equal to either his Charisma or Wisdom Modifier (whichever is greater) plus once more per  day for each level of Samurai he takes.

Military Training (Ex):  The Samurai is a military occupation primarily, and players can train in one of several positions.  These positions must be chosen at 1st level, and improve with time (think of it as similar to the Rangers Combat Style).  It gives you Bonus Feats at levels 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, and 19.  If you wish to change the focus of your Military training at a higher level (for example you are a Horse Archer, and wish to become a Swordsman at level 10), you must start from the beginning (i.e. you would get the Bonus Feat the Swordsman gets at 1st level).  If you already have this Feat you gain a Bonus Feat of your choice.  You may choose from:

Horse Archer: You are one of the first Samurai, specializing in fighting with shortbows from horseback.

Infantry Archer: You are one of the lower ranking Samurai, standing in the back with masses of longbow archers.

Spearman: You are one of the lower ranking Samurai fighting on the frontlines with Yari, or the wife of a Samurai fighting with a Naginata.

Swordsman: You have studied in a professional Kenjustsu school, and maybe you hope to run one yourself someday.  Meanwhile you fight in the infantry with your Katana.

Double Swordsman:  You have studied Miyamoto Musashi’s two sword fighting style.

Cavalry: You fight from horseback with spears and swords.  Most likely you are doing better for yourself than the average footman.

Individual: You have studied the use of an exotic weapon (or an unarmed combat style) and are well known for using it along with a sword in battle.  You may gain fame from this, but it also means you will be looked down on by some as this makes you stand out and be different. 


Iron Will (Ex): At 2nd level the Samurai gains Iron Will as a Bonus Feat.

At 5th level the Samurai gains Indomitable Soul as a Bonus Feat (see PHB II).

At 8th level gains Mind over Matter.  Once per round when targeted by an effect that requires a Fortitude or Reflex Saving Throw, the Samurai may opt to use a Willpower Save instead.

At 11th level the Samurai can violate his alignment if ordered to.  If his Lord commands him to commit an act his alignment would not normally allow him to perform, and disobeying him would violate the Code of Bushido, then he Samurai can make a Willpower Save (DC 20) to avoid his alignment changing, and any negative effects for violating his alignment.  He must seek to repent afterwards, and qualify for an Atonement spell, or after 1 week he takes the full brunt of violating his alignment.

At 14th level the Samurai gains a +4 Resistance Bonus on Willpower Saves against Mind-Affecting Effects.  If a Mind-Affecting Effect would cause him to disobey his Lord or violate the tenets of Bushido at any time (for example a Charm or Compulsion spell was cast on him, and he was ordered to commit an act that either Lord or Bushido would object to) he gains a second Saving Throw to escape the effect.

At 17th level the Samurai is immune to Fear and Morale based penalties.

Imposing Presence (Su): At 3rd level you gain a +4 Competence Bonus on intimidation Checks.

At 6th level you gain the ability to Stare Down Foes, and you can Demoralize all opponents within 30’ with a successful Intimidate Check as a Move Action. 

At 9th level you gain Improved Staredown, and can Demoralize opponents as a Swift Action instead of a Move Action.

At 12th level any opponent you successfully confirm a critical hit against is automatically Demoralized as if he had failed an opposed check against your Intimidate.

At 15th level you gain the ability to terrify opponents simply by drawing your sword.  Whenever you draw your weapon opponents within 30’ must make a Willpower Save (Save DC is 10 plus half level plus Charisma Modifier) or become Frightened for 4d6 rounds (if they have 4 or fewer hit dice) or Shaken for 4d6 rounds if they have more than 5 hit dice, but less than your hit dice.    If the Saving Throw is successful hey are immune to this Samurai’s Frightful Presence for 24 hours.

At 18th level your Frightful Presence improves.  Opponents must save when you draw your sword or you attack, and if they have less Hit Dice than you they are Panicked instead of Frightened or Shaken.

Daimyo (Ex):

PLAYING A SAMURAI
 The Code of Bushido has 7 virtues: Rectitude (a Samurai is expected to conform to the law and rules for moral conduct, and uphold integrity and justice), Courage (he is expected to risk his life in battle when it is possible to achieve something of worth, even if it means his death), Benevolence (he is expected to show mercy), Respect (he is to treat others deserving of respect with such, particularly his lord), Honesty (he must not lie or be deceitful), Honor (he is expected to behave in a dignified manner), and Loyalty (he must do as his lord commands regardless of his personal feelings on the matter).  His honor and his loyalty to his Lord are supposed to mean more to him than his own life, or the lives of others.  In practice, any truly good or evil Samurai finds it difficult to live up to these ideals.  Good Samurai chafe at being given orders to commit evil acts just as much as evil samurai dislike being ordered to perform good acts.  Despite being sworn to a life of honesty, many have a pretty good Bluff skill.
 Religion:  In real life Samurai followed Bushido, and to an extent Zen Buddhism.  In DnD this means they are spiritual, but they don’t really worship Gods per se (though some may still practice the old Shinto religion).
 Other Classes: The way a Samurai relates to other classes depends on several things.  The first being, are they foreigners?  If so they are subject to immediate distrust, and possible open hostility.  They will never be truly accepted by all, no matter how often they prove themselves.  If they aren’t foreigners the question is “What is their station relevant to mine?”  If of a lower station the Samurai can pretty much do anything they like, including openly murdering them if they are not well liked (or their Lord will back them up).  If of a higher station the Samurai is almost required to be deferential, as he can be asked to kill himself if he is considered to have disgraced himself too much.
 Combat:  There are several combat styles open to Samurai.  The traditional one is an armored archer on horseback, which eventually gave way to an armored man with a sword.  Women of Samurai households were taught knife and spear fighting, and many male Samurai learned polearms as well.  Many learned exotic fighting styles or weapons as a means of gaining an advantage over opponents by using a weapon or form which wasn’t well known.
 Advancement: How a Samurai advances depends entirely on the whims of his Lord in theory.  A Daimyo could order a Samurai to take a specific position, and if he ever wishes to have a better position (or at least retain what he has), he’d better do it well.  Many Lords will be pragmatic enough to put a Samurai where his strengths will be best used, but particularly evil nobles will use promotion to rid themselves of honest men.

SAMURAI IN THE WORLD
“One who is samurai must, before all things, keep constantly in mind , by day and by night....that he has to die”.
 In real life the Samurai were warriors hired by the nobility to fight their battles for them.  They began as little more than paid mercenaries known as Saburai (meaning “those who serve”), and were thought of as barbarians by their condescending masters.  Eventually the nobility began to rely on them more and more, and the Samurai evolved into a class of warrior nobility themselves.  While they were expected to live their life by the ideals of the Bushido code (although that name wasn’t used until late in their existence), and were even socially ostracized if it was perceived that they hadn’t, the demands of their position meant that living up to that ideal would be extraordinarily difficult.  A Samurai was expected to be benevolent and show mercy, but the law stated that he could simply kill anyone of a lower station who insulted him.  He was also expected to commit ritual suicide if his honor had been tarnished beyond repair or he had lost a battle and would have to surrender, but there are many writings of the time suggesting that the Samurai were no less pragmatic than any other warrior on a battlefield.  Theirs was a twisted life where their lord could order them to die, and they would be expected to comply.  Failing to do so meant his family would suffer along with him.
 Daily Life: You will always be busy.  When you aren’t training men under you to wield a sword, you are learning to refine your own skills under a teacher better than you, or honing your ability at music or poetry to better your social life in some manner other than killing.  At any moment your Lord can ask you to perform some task, and you must hop to it, and hope the task is actually achievable.  The easiest way for enemies to get rid of you is to dishonor you, or cause you to fall from favor,  Always keep your eyes open, and trust no one.
 Notables: Make up some cool information about notable figures in the history of your class. It's best to give a little information from one of the good alignment and evil alignment (unless it's a good or evil only class).
 Organizations: The Samurai are members of the middle and upper classes, and richer ones own large farms or command armies for the government.  All Samurai belong to a military organization of one clan or another.  By taking the Leadership Feat and doing well in battle a PC could open his own swordsmanship school, or be promoted to General someday.

NPC Reaction
 Samurai tend to make people nervous, particularly if they are peasants.  They’re allowed to kill any peasant who insults them, and some Samurai are notoriously easy to insult (i.e. Lawful Evil).   Nobles above them aren’t supposed to have to fear the Samurai’s anger, but in practice there’s damn little stopping a determined one from killing a member of the ruling class either if he plans it well.  Other Samurai even tend to regard Samurai they don’t know with distrust, always wondering if they’ll have to kill him at some point.

SAMURAI IN THE GAME
 Roleplaying the old ideal of a Samurai will be difficult as it will ask of players to do things they would normally never do: set aside their own desires.  They will have to follow the orders of their Lord, even if he is a disagreeable stain on the face of humanity, and be polite and respectful while doing so.  Most people roleplay to relieve stress, and Samurai lived highly stressful lives.  The class isn’t for everyone.
 Adaptation: The Samurai is intended for campaigns with oriental flavor, but with some work it can be adapted to different settings.  It’s basically a nobleman warrior, and by using different combat styles and optional class abilities it can be used to mimic fighters from different settings.
 Encounters: PC’s will tend to encounter Samurai as leaders (or embers) of military units, lords of various domains, or perhaps bounty hunters assigned to bring them in for trial (or bring back your head if you aren’t cooperative).  Many also run farms, schools of swordsmanship, or retire to monasteries if their career has been blemished.



EPIC SAMURAI

Hit Die: d10
Skills Points at Each  Level : 4 + int
Ki Pool The Epic Samurai gains 1 additional daily use of his Ki Pool for every Epic Level.  He does not gain new Ki abilities except as Epic Feats.
Bonus Feats: The Epic Samurai gains a Bonus Feat every 3 levels higher than 20th

GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #68 on: June 11, 2009, 02:43:06 PM »
I'd change the +4 Resistance bonus vs Mindaffecting to something else than Resistance, otherwise it gets trompted by a Cloak of Resistance, especially that the level (14) that he gets this ability.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #69 on: June 12, 2009, 11:04:28 AM »
Competence?

GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #70 on: June 12, 2009, 11:11:21 AM »
Yes, that sounds good. Or maybe Morale.

Flay Crimsonwind

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #71 on: June 13, 2009, 10:02:29 AM »
Can the class be spoilered in the OP?

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #72 on: June 13, 2009, 10:07:46 AM »
Can the class be spoilered in the OP?

Yup.  From now on I'll be editing the revised versions into the spoiler.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #73 on: June 26, 2009, 01:56:17 PM »
Minor update on front page.

Time for me to work out the military training and I need 7 Feats for each option.

For the horse Archers theres obviously Mounted Combat, Mounted Archery, Improved Mounted Archery, and Ride-by Attack.  Should I make the other three regular archery Feats or come up with something new? And are there any Feats for mounted archers Ive missed?


GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #74 on: June 26, 2009, 02:32:35 PM »
You need regular Archery feats as well, so put them in. WF (Longbow) is also a good fluffwise option.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #75 on: July 06, 2009, 01:54:02 PM »
Okay I got the Feats for the Horse Archer up, and the Infantry archer is coming this week.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #76 on: July 08, 2009, 01:16:16 PM »
Archer Feats are up.  I think I may have missed one.  Isn't there a feat that lets you fire a ranged weapon without provoking an attack of opportunity?

GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #77 on: July 08, 2009, 01:30:14 PM »
Archer Feats are up.  I think I may have missed one.  Isn't there a feat that lets you fire a ranged weapon without provoking an attack of opportunity?

An Epic one, and one from the World of Warcraft d20 RPG.

bhu

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #78 on: July 10, 2009, 02:07:34 PM »
Hmm....I cant find too many feats that scream "Spear fighting", so lemme do some research on how the japanese actually use spears and polearms.  I may have to make a few new Feats.

GawainBS

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Re: Samurai Poll
« Reply #79 on: July 10, 2009, 02:13:30 PM »
Hmm....I cant find too many feats that scream "Spear fighting", so lemme do some research on how the japanese actually use spears and polearms.  I may have to make a few new Feats.

A very useful feat would be a non-nerfed version of PHBII's Short Haft, i.e. let reach weapons threaten inside the 5ft zone. But ignore the swift action. Make it a free action.
Hold the Line is flavourful.
Weapon Focus and such.
Some overlap probably from other feat trees: Power Attack.
Combat Reflexes.
Stand Still. (XPH).
Check www.crystalkeep.com, it has a listing of Polearm feats, I think.