A kensai spends his life focusing his training and meditation into a rapturous perfection of the use of a single weapon, which is usually but not always a sword, channeling his arcane might through it in a dizzying and deadly dance beyond the abilities of even the greatest of mundane warriors.
The kensai is an archetype of the samurai class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency
A kensai is proficient in simple weapons and in a single martial or exotic chosen, melee weapon of his choice, usually a katana, nodachi, or wakizashi. A kensai is not proficient with armor or shields.
Uncanny Defense (Ex)
At 1st level, a kensai gains Weapon Focus with his chosen weapon as a bonus feat. In addition, when a kensai is wielding his chosen weapon, he adds 1 point of Charisma modifier (if any) per samurai level as a dodge bonus to their Armor Class. If the kensai is caught flat-footed or otherwise denied his Dexterity bonus, he also loses this bonus.
This ability replaces iaijutsu strike.
Combo Finishers (Ex)
A kensai loses access to Draw Slash, Tenka Gokken, Midare Setsu Gekka, and Higanbana combo finishers.
Bushido Pool (Su)
A kensai is known not only by his skill with his weapons, but by his bushido, a representation of his honor and discipline he has held with his training. At 2nd level, he gains a Bushido pool that is used to fuel certain bushido arts. He gains a bushido pool equal to half his samurai level plus his Charisma modifier. The pool refreshes once per day when the samurai rests for a full 8 hours. At 6th level, he can spend 1 point from this pool to take the place of a kenki technique for a combo finisher as a free action. Additionally, he can spend 1 point from this pool to increase the DC of his combo finishers for 1 round by 2 as a free action.
At 2nd level, a kensai can expend 1 point from his bushido pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four samurai levels beyond 2nd the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 18th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
At 6th level, these bonuses can be used to add any of the following weapon properties: dancing, earthen, earthen burst, flaming, flaming burst, frost, icy burst, jetstream, jetstream burst, keen, roaring, roaring burst, shock, shocking burst, speed, or vorpal.
Adding these properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property’s base price modifier. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon is not magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added. These bonuses and properties are decided when the bushido pool point is spent and cannot be changed until the next time the kensai uses this ability. These bonuses do not function if the weapon is wielded by anyone other than the kensai.
A kensai can only enhance one weapon in this way at one time. If he uses this ability again, the first use immediately ends.
This ability modifies bushido pool and also replaces armor training.
Perfect Strike (Ex)
At 2nd level, when a kensai hits with his chosen weapon, he can spend 1 point from his bushido pool in order to maximize his weapon damage. Don’t roll for damage—the weapon deals maximum damage. This affects only the weapon’s base damage dice, not additional damage from sneak attack, magical weapon properties, or critical hits. If the kensai confirms a critical hit, he can instead spend 2 points from his bushido pool to increase his weapon’s critical multiplier by 1.
This ability replaces action without thought.
Fighter Training (Ex)
Starting at 6th level, a kensai counts his samurai level –3 as his fighter level for the purpose of qualifying for feats (if he has levels in fighter, these levels stack), but forfeits the benefit of such feats with weapons other than his favored weapon.
This ability replaces meditate.
At 8th level, a kensai applies his Charisma modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier on initiative rolls (minimum 0). A kensai may make attacks of opportunity when flat-footed, and may draw his favored weapon as a free action as part of taking an attack of opportunity.
This ability replaces brutal slash.
Critical Perfection (Ex)
At 10th level, a kensai adds his Charisma modifier (minimum 0) on critical hit confirmation rolls with his chosen weapon.
This ability replaces a bushido art gained at 10th level.
Superior Reflexes (Ex)
At 12th level, a kensai can make a number of attacks of opportunity in a round equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). This effect stacks with the Combat Reflexes feat.
This ability replaces terrifying iaijutsu.
Iaijutsu Focus (Ex)
At 14th level, a kensai may always act and may draw his weapon as a swift action during a surprise round, though he is considered flat-footed until he acts. During a surprise round or when attacking a flat-footed opponent, he adds his Charisma modifier on damage with his chosen weapon (minimum 0).
This ability replaces roaring iaijutsu.
Iaijutsu Master (Ex)
At 18th level, a kensai’s initiative roll is automatically a natural 20 and he is never surprised.
This ability replaces frightful presence.