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Samurai

Known for their matchless bravery and strict code of honor, the samurai are noble soldiers that bring courage and honor to the service of a lord, general, or other leader. The reputation of samurai for tenacious in combat often precedes them in battle, and their mere presence is often enough to make dishonorable enemies slink away in the darkness.
Role: Excelling in melee combat, these warriors focus precise strikes to deal devastating damage to their foes; their tenacity and will power allowing them to shrug off attacks. They strike with fast and precise attacks, building their warrior spirit before unleashing powerful moves known as bushido, instilling fear into their enemies before wiping them out with powerful Iaijutsu enhanced with the forces of Sen. Their mastery and use of the katana is unmatched by any other.
Alignment: Any lawful
Hit Die: d10
Parent Classes: Monk and Knight.
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gil (average 140 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.
Class Skills
The samurai’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (History) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points Per Level: 2 + Int modifier

Table: Samurai

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
TypeFullGoodBadGood
1st+1+2+0+2Kenki Techniques, Iaijutsu Strike (+1d6), Limit Breaks
2nd+2+3+0+3Action Without Thought
3rd+3+3+1+3Iaijutsu Strike (+2d6), The Forces of Sen, Bushido
4th+4+4+1+4Resolve, Weapon Expertise
5th+5+4+1+4Iaijutsu Strike (+3d6), Bushido
6th+6/+1+5+2+5Meditate
7th+7+2+5+2+5Iaijutsu Strike (+4d6), Bushido
8th+8/+3+6+2+6Brutal Slash
9th+9/+4+6+3+6Iaijutsu Strike (+5d6), Bushido
10th+10/+5+7+3+7Third Eye
11th+11/+6/+1+7+3+7Iaijutsu Strike (+6d6), Bushido
12th+12/+7/+2+8+4+8Terrifying Iaijutsu
13th+13/+8/+3+8+4+8Iaijutsu Strike (+7d6), Bushido
14th+14/+9/+4+9+4+9Roaring Iaijutsu
15th+15/+10/+5+9+5+9Iaijutsu Strike (+8d6), Bushido
16th+16/+11/+6/+1+10+5+10Deliverance, Merciful Eyes
17th+17/+12/+7/+2+10+5+10Iaijutsu Strike (+9d6), Bushido
18th+18/+13/+8/+3+11+6+11Frightful Presence
19th+19/+14/+9/+4+11+6+11Iaijutsu Strike (+10d6), Bushido
20th+20/+15/+10/+5+12+6+12One with the Sword

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the samurai.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Samurais are proficient with all simple and martial weapons including katanas. They are also proficient with light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor but no shields.

Limit Breaks (Su)

At 1st level, the samurai receives the Limit Breaks (Meikyo Shisui and Unseen Strike).

Meikyo Shisui (Su): This Limit Break grants a +2 bonus to all attack and damage rolls made by the samurai while wielding a katana for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four samurai levels after 1st. This bonus increases by 2 per four samurai levels after 1st. Furthermore, he gains a point of Sen, each round he spends in this Limit Break. If he drops a foe below 0 Hit Points while under the effects of this Limit Break, he gains a point of Sen. He can only gain a point of Sen this way once per round. This limit break requires only a swift action.

Unseen Strike (Su): This Limit Break allows the samurai to make a fast quick strike against his opponents faster than the eye can see. The samurai makes a number of attacks equal to what he can normally make against any opponents within 30 feet (they are considered flat-footed unless they have Uncanny Dodge), if the strike hits, they suffer damage from the samurai’s attack plus +1d6 points of damage + an additional 1d6 per four samurai levels after 1st.

Kenki Techniques (Ex)

At 1st level, a samurai can utilize these techniques to enable bushidos (see below). Kenki (Warrior Spirit) techniques are special katana attacks which can be used in place of a normal attack that start a combo. These techniques only function while wielding a katana.

  • Falling Slash (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique deals normal weapon damage.
  • Heavy Slash (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique suffers a -2 penalty to this Attack roll but deals normal weapon damage + 1 and a foe struck by this, must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) or be staggered for 1 round.
  • Rising Slash (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique suffers a -2 penalty to this Attack roll but deals normal weapon damage + 1 and has a chance to knock a foe prone. The samurai can attempt to trip his opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity if he hits with this kenki technique. If the attempt fails, the samurai is not tripped in return.
  • Slash (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique deals normal weapon damage.
  • Sweeping Slash (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique suffers a -2 penalty to this Attack roll but deals normal weapon damage + 1 and has a chance to knock a foe prone. The samurai can attempt to trip his opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity if he hits with this kenki technique. If the attempt fails, the samurai is not tripped in return.
  • Thrust (Ex): A samurai who uses this kenki technique suffers a -2 penalty to this Attack roll but deals normal weapon damage + 1 and has a chance to sunder armor. The samurai can attempt to sunder his opponent as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity if he hits with this kenki technique.

Iaijutsu Strike (Ex)

Also at 1st level, a samurai can perform a lightning quick iaijutsu strike against his opponent to inflict devastating wounds while drawing his sword. In order to use this ability, the samurai’s weapon must be sheathed. As a full-round action, the samurai makes a melee attack roll, if he successfully hits his opponent with an iaijutsu strike, his attack deals an additional +1d6 points of damage. This bonus damage increases by an additional +1d6 at 3rd level and every two levels thereafter to a maximum of +10d6 damage at 19th level. Any extra damage as a result of a successful iaijutsu strike is not multiplied by a critical hit. After making an iaijutsu strike, a samurai takes a –4 penalty to his AC until his next turn, but his weapon is now drawn and he may continually to fight normally. Regardless of whether he hits his opponent with the iaijutsu strike, a samurai cannot use this ability on the same foe more than once per day unless he uses Sen to enhance his Iaijutsu Strike. When using his Sen to enhance his Iaijutsu strike, he may use it on the same enemy as much as he pleases. At 10th level, a samurai learns to focus faster and is able to make an iaijutsu strike as a standard action, and the penalty to his AC is reduced to –2.

At 3rd level or when the samurai uses the Limit Break (Meikyo Shisui), the samurai can enhance his Iaijutsu Strike for additional effects by utilizing and mastering the forces of Sen. He may only spend his Sen this way once per round and may not utilize multiple enhancements from Sen. Below are the 3 enhancements that can be used to empower the samurais Iaijutsu strike. 

  • Higanbana (Su): The samurai’s Iaijutsu strike is enhanced with energy to deal extra damage and is able to send a shockwave of energy from his blade. When the samurai performs an Iaijutsu strike, he may spend 1 point of Sen to deal extra damage equal to three times his Charisma modifer to the target and all creatures in a 10-ft.-line behind the target. Creatures behind the target can make a Reflex save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) to reduce this damage by half. If the attack is a critical hit, this extra damage is not multiplied.
  • Midare Setsu Gekka (Su): The samurai infuses his blade with the three forces of Sen to utterly destroy a single target with a single slice. When the samurai performs an Iaijutsu strike, he may spend all 3 Sen to make an attack on an enemy within range. The samurai dashes at the target and strikes with a single blow, if successful, he ends his movement in the square adjacent to the target. Afterwards, he sheaths his blade and the enemy feels the wrath of a multiple unseen cuts on himself. The samurai may make as many attacks as he normally can during a full round attack and may make an extra attack at his highest base attack bonus. Extra attacks such as from haste and other effects do not apply, allowing a strong samurai to make multiple strikes in one. All damage calculated is treated as one attack for the purpose of bypassing damage reduction. Extra damage from Iaijutsu is applied only once the samurai sheathes his blade at the end of the attack as all cuts become apparent in one single motion.
  • Tenka Goken (Su): The samurai uses his Iaijutsu strike to unleash 3 waves of slicing energy from his blade. When the samurai performs an Iaijutsu strike, he may spend 2 points of Sen to forgo his melee attack and instead deal his melee weapon damage and Iaijutsu strike damage to all enemies in 3, 15-ft.-lines. One line stemming in front of the samurai, the other two lines stemming from his two frontal corners diagonally. All creatures affected must make a Reflex save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) to half damage. 

Action Without Thought (Ex)

Having mastered the tenets of battle, the samurai is able to act instantly and without consideration of the consequences, confident his actions are correct. At 2nd level, the samurai gains a +2 competence bonus to all Initiative rolls and may not be deprived of his Dexterity bonus unless he is asleep, paralyzed, or otherwise unable to move.

The Forces of Sen (Su)

At 3rd level, the samurai begins to master the art of Sen and it’s three forces: Setsu (Snow), Getsu (Moon) and Ka (Flower). When the samurai successfully performs a bushido, he opens one of the forces of Sen. When the samurai performs a bushido, he gains a Sen point. He may only ever have up to 3 points of Sen, these points being spent to enhance his Iaijutsu strike. When he is knocked unconscious or takes an 8-hour rest, he loses his gained Sen. He begins the day with zero Sen.

Bushido (Ex)

Also at 3rd level and every odd level thereafter, a samurai gains a bushido which allows him to put the kenki techniques into good use by starting and finishing combos. Each bushido requires a certain amount of kenki techniques used in order that must hit and be completed before the end of her next turn of the last successive hit or the samurai must start over. Any blitz techniques used in part to fulfill a bushido may be used on any number of creatures. In addition, once the samurai is able to use a bushido, he must activate it before the end of his next turn or its lost. All bushido are swift actions, unless indicated on the ability.

  • A complete list of bushido can be found here: Bushido

Resolve (Ex)

Starting at 4th level, the samurai gains resolve that he can call upon to endure even the most devastating wounds and afflictions. He can use this ability once per day, plus one additional time per day for every two samurai levels after 4th.

  • Determined: As a standard action, the samurai can spend one use of his resolve to remove the fatigued, shaken, or sickened If the samurai is at least 8th level, he can alternatively remove the exhausted, frightened, nauseated, or staggered condition. If the condition has a duration longer than 1 hour or is permanent, this ability removes the condition for 1 hour, at which time the condition returns.
  • Resolute: Whenever the samurai is required to make a Fortitude or Will save, he can spend one use of his resolve, as an immediate action, to roll twice and take the better result. He must decide to use this ability before he rolls the saving throw.
  • Unstoppable: When the samurai is reduced to fewer than 0 hit points but not slain, he can spend one use of his resolve, as an immediate action, to instantly stabilize and remain conscious. He is staggered, but he does not fall unconscious and begin dying if he takes a standard action. He does fall unconscious if he takes additional damage from any source.

Weapon Expertise (Ex)

At 4th level, a samurai gains an unparalleled expertise with his katana. The samurai can draw his katana as a free action as if he had the Quick Draw feat. In addition, whenever he threatens a critical hit with his katana, he gains a +2 bonus on the confirmation roll.

Meditate (Ex)

At 6th level, the samurai can, as a free action, channel his kenki and expend a point of Sen to take the place of a kenki technique to perform a bushido, also allowing him to hold his combo for another round. He can expend all 3 Sen to complete any combo, allowing him to perform a bushido immediately.

Brutal Slash (Ex)

At 8th level, a samurai’s iaijutsu strike becomes even more deadly. If a samurai threatens a critical hit with his iaijutsu strike, he adds a bonus equal to his samurai level to the attack roll to confirm a critical hit.

Third Eye (Ex)

At 10th level, the samurai’s senses are so keen that he is able to predict where to dodge an opponent’s attacks. As an immediate action, the samurai can make a DC 20 Reflex save to evade one attack. The samurai can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.

Terrifying Iaijutsu (Ex)

At 12th level, a samurai’s iaijutsu strike devastates the morale of foes that witness it. When a samurai successfully hits with an iaijutsu strike, all foes within 30 feet must succeed at a Will save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) or become shaken for 1d4+1 rounds.

Roaring Iaijutsu (Ex)

At 14th level, a samurai’s iaijutsu strike deafens foes upon impact. When a samurai successfully hits with an iaijutsu strike, all foes within 30 feet must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Strength modifier) or be deafened for 1d4 minutes.

Deliverance (Ex)

At 16th level, when the samurai dodges an attack while using Third Eye, he may make an attack of opportunity with a melee attack against the opponent attempting to strike him. This ability cannot be used at the same time as Merciful Eyes.

Merciful Eyes (Ex)

Also at 16th level, when the samurai dodges an attack while using Third Eye, he may gain temporary hit points equal to his samurai level that last until the end of combat or is lost. This ability cannot be used at the same time as Deliverance.

Frightful Presence (Ex)

At 18th level, a samurai’s bravery, honor, and fighting prowess have become legendary. When the samurai draws his blade, opponents within 30 feet must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) or become panicked for 4d6 rounds (if they have 4 or fewer Hit Dice) or shaken for 4d6 rounds (if they have from 5 to 19 Hit Dice). Creatures with 20 or more Hit Dice are not affected. Any foe that successfully resists the effect cannot be affected again by the same samurai’s frightful presence for 24 hours.

One with the Sword (Ex)

At 20th level, the samurai’s prowess with the blade is unmatched.  His critical threat rate while wielding a katana increases by 1 and the critical multiplier of his katana increases by 1. He may never be disarmed while wielding a katana and he begins each combat with 1 Sen point if he does not have any.

Favored Class Bonuses

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, some races have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored classes. The following options are available to the listed race who have archer as their favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.

  • Au Ra: Add +1/6 to the DC for Bushidos.
  • Dwarf: Add +1/4 to the samurai’s daily uses of resolve.
  • Elvaan: Add +1/6 to the DC of Bushidos.
  • Galka: Add +1/3 to the samurai’s critical confirmation rolls.
  • Hume: Add +1/6 to the samurai’s known Bushidos.
  • Mithra: Add +1/6 to the samurai’s initiative rolls.
  • Moogle: Add +1/2 to Knowledge (Nobility) checks.
  • Roegadyn: Add +1/3 to the samurai’s critical confirmation rolls.
  • Ronso: Add +1/2 to Intimidate skill checks.
  • Tarutaru: Add +1/2 to Knowledge (History) skill checks.
  • Varg: Add +1/3 to the samurai’s critical confirmation rolls.
  • Yagudo: Add +1/3 to the samurai’s critical confirmation rolls.

Archetypes