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Shugoki

It is the traditional image of a samurai for them to be swift, precise, and deadly. For them to be able to strike as quickly as they can draw their sword, and target a weakness wherever it may present itself. However, this is not the case of all samurai. A shugoki trades their speed and precision for the brutality and strength of a demon, though they are none less deadly for it.

The shugoki is an archetype of the samurai class.

Class Skills

The shugoki gains Bluff as a class skill, but loses Ride as a class skill.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Shugokis are proficient with all simple weapons and also with tetsubos. They are also proficient with light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor, but no shields.

This ability modifies the standard samurai’s armor and weapon proficiencies.

Brawn Over Blade (Ex)

A shugoki may also use a tetsubo for any feature that requires the use of a katana, nodachi, or wakizashi.

Limit Break (Su)

At 1st level, the shugoki receives the Limit Break (Demon’s Embrace).

Demon’s Embrace (Su): This Limit Break allows the shugoki to grapple a target, and crush his bones. The shugoki both moves to and attempts a grapple maneuver against a target within 15 feet of them. He does not have a penalty for attempting the grapple one-handed for the first check. He also gains a +2 bonus on the combat maneuver check, and this increases by +2 for every four samurai levels he possesses past 1st. If the grapple is successful, the target of the grapple takes bludgeoning damage equal to the skugoki’s Strength modifier, plus 1d4 additional bludgeoning damage for every 5 hit points he is missing from his maximum total. If the target is reduced to 0 hit points by this damage, he heals for the damage dealt to the target.

This ability replaces the Limit Break (Unseen Strike).

Kenki Techniques (Ex)

In place of a samurai’s Thrust technique, a shugoki gains the Demon Ball technique. This counts as the Thrust technique for any features, such as combo finishers, that require it.

  • Demon Ball (Ex): A shugoki 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 his foe back. The shugoki can attempt to bull rush his opponent as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity if he hits with this kenki technique. The shugoki may not choose to follow the target of his bull rush maneuver with this attempt.

This ability modifies kenki techniques.

Combo Finishers (Ex)

A shugoki may use combo finishers as normal. However, a shugoki loses access to the Draw Slash, Higanbana, and Midare Setsu Gekka combo finishers. In their place are the following two options:

Stunning Stall (Ex): (Requires Heavy Slash → Rising Slash → Heavy Slash) This combo finisher allows the shugoki to strike a foe left unsteady so hard that it makes their whole world tip. The shugoki makes a single shissoku strike against a staggered, stunned, or prone target as part of this combo finisher. If this attack hits, the target must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) or be stunned for 1 round.

Wandering Stall (Ex): (Requires Heavy Slash → Demon Ball) This combo finisher allows the shugoki to hold his strike so steadily that he can even move before landing it. The shugoki makes a single charge melee attack against a creature within the shugoki’s movement as part of this combo finisher. On a hit, the attack deals normal weapon damage, plus the damage of a shissoku strike.

This ability modifies combo finishers.

Shissoku Strike (Ex)

At 1st level, a shugoki may stall a strike with his weapon to catch a foe by surprise. As a full-round action, the shugoki may make a single attack with a tetsubo. Before the attack hits, he may attempt a feint against the target of his attack as a free action. If the feint is successful, the shugoki continues with his attack, striking against the target’s flat-footed AC, and dealing an additional 1d4 damage. If the feint fails, the target may make an opportunity attack against the shugoki, although the shugoki may still continue his attack, dealing the additional damage on a hit. This bonus damage increases by an additional 1d4 at 3rd level and every two levels thereafter to a maximum of 10d4 damage at 19th level. Any extra damage as a result of a successful shissoku strike is not multiplied by a critical hit.

After making a shissoku strike, a shugoki takes a –4 penalty to his AC until the start of his next turn. At 10th level, the penalty to his AC is reduced to –2. The target also gains a +5 bonus to their DC to be feinted by shissoku strikes, as well as a +2 dodge bonus to their AC against the attack, stacking each time the shugoki attempts it, resetting at the start of the day. Shissoku strike counts as any kenki technique for the purposes of performing a combo finisher.

This ability replaces iaijutsu strike.

Improved Bull Rush

At 2nd level, a shugoki learns to control his foes with incredible strength. He gains Improved Bull Rush as a bonus feat.

This ability replaces action without thought.

Armor Training (Ex)

Starting at 3rd level, a shugoki becomes a mobile force even in the heaviest armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he increases its armor bonus by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, 15th and 19th), this bonus increases by 1. In addition, a shugoki can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium or heavy armor. At 7th level, a shugoki considers his movement to be 10 feet higher when making a charge attack while wearing heavy armor, and may add half of the armor bonus granted by worn heavy armor to his bull rush attempts.

This ability modifies and replaces armor training.

Demon Rush (Ex)

At 7th level, the shugoki further enhances his ability to imbalance his foes. He gains Greater Bull Rush as a bonus feat even if he don’t meet the prerequisites.

At 10th level, he gains Bull Rush Strike as a bonus feat even if he don’t meet the prerequisites.

This ability replaces blocking cuts.

Brutal Blow (Ex)

At 8th level, a shugoki’s strikes not only deal great damage to his foes, but also make them fall off balance. If a target is hit by a shissoku strike, the target is also staggered for 1 round. In addition, the shugoki increases the critical threat range of his attacks with tetsubos by 1 (applied after Improved Critical and similar effects).

This ability replaces brutal slash.

Crashing Shissoku (Ex)

At 12th level, the shissoku strike is so powerful as to send foes flying. When a target is hit by a shissoku strike, the shugoki may make a bull rush maneuver attempt against them as a free action. The shugoki cannot follow the target with this bull rush. If the bull rush is successful, the target must also make a Reflex save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Strength modifier) or land prone.

This ability replaces terrifying iaijutsu.

Mounting Fear (Ex)

At 14th level, a shugoki’s shissoku strike terrifies all who witness it. When a shugoki successfully hits with a shissoku strike, all foes within 30 feet who can see the shugoki must succeed at a Wisdom save (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier). On a failure, they first become shaken. If they are already shaken, they become frightened. If they are already frightened, they become panicked. This lasts for a number of rounds equal to the shugoku’s Charisma modifier.

This ability replaces roaring iaijutsu.

Mortal Demon (Ex)

At 20th level, the shugoki has become a wrathful entity of death and destruction, allowing no barrier to stand before him and his goal. His attacks with tetsubos ignore up to 10 points of hardness or DR. In addition, the shugoki is considered one size larger for the purpose of determining what size of tetsubo he can wield, and his critical multiplier with tetsubos increases by 1.

This ability replaces master samurai.