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Master Techniques

As a black belt gains experience, she learns a number of techniques that aid her and confound her foes. Starting at 2nd level, the black belt gains one master technique. She gains an additional master technique for every 2 levels of black belt attained after 2nd level. Unless specified otherwise, a black belt cannot select an individual technique more than once.

Table: Master Techniques

Master TechniquePrerequisitesBenefits
Advanced Close Weapon Training (Ex)The black belt selects the close fighter weapon group, as per the fighter’s chosen weapon class feature, and gains a +1 to attack and damage rolls with this group.
Athlete (Ex)A black belt adds half her black belt levels as a bonus to all Acrobatic skill checks.
Clear Mind (Ex)When the black belt fails a Will saving throw, she can attempt another Will saving throw at the end of her next turn (using the original DC). If the second saving throw is successful, the black belt is treated as if she succeeded at the first saving throw, negating or reducing the effect as determined by the spell or effect. If this second saving throw fails, the black belt suffers the full effects of the spell or effect as normal.
Combat FeatA black belt that selects this technique gains a bonus combat feat. This talent may be taken only once.
Crowd Control (Ex)Improved Grapple featThe black belt can grapple two adjacent creatures at a time, performing a separate attack roll for each opponent.
Damage Reduction (Ex)The black belt gains damage reduction 1/—. A black belt can select this talent up to five times. Its effects stack with itself and stacks with Tough Skin unless the Iron Skin talent is being used.
Defensive Jab (Ex)When the black belt is unarmed and takes the Fight Defensively action, she can make a single unarmed attack as a swift action against an adjacent target.
Devastating Unarmed SmashUnarmed Smash master techniqueOnce per encounter, the black belt can attempt a Devastating Unarmed Smash. She must declare this special melee attack before making the attack roll. If the attack rolls succeeds, she adds half her black belt level to the damage, instead of the normal +1 bonus for the Unarmed Smash talent.
Disarm and Engage (Ex)Improved Disarm featWhen the black belt successfully disarms an opponent, as a swift action, she can make an attack with the disarmed weapon at a -5 penalty. If she is not proficient with the weapon, she takes the penalty for non-proficiency as well.
Experienced Brawler (Ex)The black belt knows how to fight when the odds are against her. She can use each of the following actions as a standard action once per encounter:

• Avoid Attack: The black belt makes a single unarmed attack against an opponent within her reach. Until the beginning of her next turn, she gains a +4 dodge bonus to her AC against a single attack.
• Fortified Mind: The black belt makes a single unarmed attack against an opponent within her reach. Until the beginning of her next turn, she gains a +3 bonus to either her Fortitude or Will save against a spell.
• Focused Stance: The black belt makes a single unarmed attack against an opponent within her reach. At any time until the beginning of her next turn, as an immediate action, she can move up to 10 feet. This movement does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity.
Evasion (Ex)A black belt can avoid even magical and unusual attacks with great agility. If she makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, she instead takes no damage. Evasion can be used only if the black belt is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless black belt does not gain the benefit of evasion.
Expert Leaper (Ex)When using the Acrobatics skill to jump, a black belt with this talent is always considered to have a running start and adds her black belt level to the check result. Whenever she deliberately falls, a successful DC 15 Acrobatics check allows her to ignore the first 20 feet fallen. For every 5 by which she exceeds the DC of this check, she can ignore an additional 10 feet of distance fallen.
Fast Movement (Ex)A black belt that selects this technique increases her base speed by 10 feet.
Hardened Fortitude (Ex)A black belt that selects this technique gains the endurance feat.
Hardened Strike (Ex)If the black belt deals damage with an Unarmed attack to a creature that has Damage Reduction, she reduces the value of that Damage Reduction by 1 until the end of the encounter. Cumulative attacks against the same target do not stack.
Increased Ki (Ex)Ki pool class feature or master techniqueA black belt that selects this technique gains the extra ki feat.
Iron Skin (Ex)Tough Skin class featureBy expending 1 aggression point as an immediate action, the damage reduction from the tough skin feature applies after shrug it off's conversion until the beginning of her next turn.
Ki Deflection (Su)Ki pool class feature or master techniqueThe black belt receives a +1 deflection bonus to AC so long as she possesses at least 1 point in her ki pool, this deflection bonus increases to +2 at 6th level. The black belt also gains a +1 to Reflex and Will saves while this ability is active.
Ki Pool (Ex)Must not have a ki poolA black belt with this talent gains a small ki pool. This ki pool is similar to a monk’s ki pool, but the black belt’s ki pool does not grant any extra attacks. The black belt gains a number of ki points equal to her Wisdom modifier (minimum 1). These ki points replenish at the start of each day. If she gains a ki pool later, she gains half her Wisdom bonus (minimum 1) as bonus ki points to her ki pool. She can spend a ki point to gain a +10-foot bonus to movement until the end of her turn.
Ki Power (Ex or Su)Ki pool class feature or master techniqueA black belt can select a ki power from the monk's ki power list, using her black belt level as her monk level.
Leather Skin (Ex)Tough Skin class featureThe black belt counts her level as 4 higher when calculating the damage reduction provided by the black belt's tough skin class feature.
Ledge Walker (Ex)This technique allows a black belt to move along narrow, uneven, or slippery surfaces (such as ice) at full speed using the Acrobatics skill without penalty. In addition, a black belt with this talent is not flat-footed when using Acrobatics to move along such surfaces, and retains her Dexterity bonus to AC.
Long-Time Grudge (Ex)Aggression class featureThe black belt is much better at holding onto her aggression than normal. Aggression points are now only lost after a number of minutes equal to 1 + half her Constitution modifier (minimum 1)..
└- Never-Ending Grudge (Ex)Aggression class feature and Long-Time Grudge master techniqueThe black belt finds it hard to let anything go when it comes to combat. The time it takes to lose an aggression point is doubled.
Make Do (Ex)When fighting with an improvised weapon, the black belt takes no penalty on her attack rolls.
Martial Genius (Ex)Martial Flexibility class feature and Ki pool class feature or master techniqueThe black belt can spend 2 points from her ki pool to use her martial flexibility without expending one of its uses per day.
Martial Versatility (Ex)The black belt gains Martial Versatility as a bonus feat, ignoring its prerequisites. She treats herself as hume and her black belt levels as fighter levels for the purpose of qualifying for feats for which Martial Versatility is a prerequisite.
Melee Power (Ex)A black belt with this talent adds +2 to damage with unarmed strikes or one-handed weapons with the "monk" special feature.
Melee Tenacity (Ex)A black belt with this technique may reroll 1s for damage with all weapon dice with unarmed strikes or one-handed weapons with the "monk" special feature.
Mighty Blow (Ex)Black Belt 8By expending one aggression point as a full-round action, the black belt can perform an awesome blow combat maneuver, as per the black belt class feature. This can be reduced to a standard action by expending an additional aggression point.
Mighty Blow, Improved (Ex)Mighty Blow master techniqueWhen using the mighty blow master technique, the black belt can use it on creatures of any size.
Nimble Dodge (Ex)Dodge and Mobility featsIf an enemy misses the black belt with a melee attack, as an immediate action, she can move up to 10 feet, but she must end her movement adjacent to her attacker. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Pick a Fight (Ex)During the surprise round, the black belt and all allies within 30 feet of her gain a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls. Additionally, until the end of the encounter, she retains this bonus to attack rolls against any target she or her allies damage during the surprise round.
Positioning Attack (Ex)Once per encounter, when a black belt with this technique hits a creature with a melee attack, she can move up to 30 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity. The black belt must end her movement in a square that threatens that creature hit with the melee attack.
Pressure Points (Su)A black belt with this technique can strike at an opponent’s vital pressure points, causing weakness and intense pain. Whenever the black belt deals a critical hit, she also deals 1 point of Strength or Dexterity damage, decided by the black belt. Unlike normal ability damage, this damage can be healed by a DC 15 Heal check. Each successful check heals 1 point of damage caused by this technique.
Prizefighter's Spirit (Ex)Aggression class featureOnce per encounter, the black belt knows that when she’s up against the ropes is the time that she should give it her all. If the black belt is under half health (if she has shrug it off, non-lethal damage counts towards this as well) and she has no aggression points at the start of her turn, she gains one aggression point.
Punishing Strike (Ex)When the black belt scores a critical hit with an Unarmed attack, she can make an immediate Unarmed attack (In addition to other effects of a critical hit) against a single target within reach. She can use this talent only once per turn and only while wearing light armor or no armor.
Quick Reflexes (Ex)A black belt that selects this technique gains the combat reflexes feat.
Redirect Force (Ex)If the black belt has a feat that allows her to attempt a combat maneuver without provoking attacks of opportunity, she can choose to provoke them anyway when she performs that maneuver. If she does so and takes damage from the attack of opportunity, the black belt adds the damage as a bonus on her attack roll instead of as a penalty.
Resiliency (Ex)Once per day, a black belt with this technique can gain a number of temporary hit points equal to twice her black belt level. Activating this technique is an immediate action that can be performed only when the black belt is brought to below 0 hit points. This ability can be used to prevent the black belt from dying. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute. If the black belt's hit points drop below 0 due to the loss of these temporary hit points, she falls unconscious and is dying as normal.
Retaliation Jab (Ex)If an enemy misses the black belt with a melee attack, as an immediate action, she can automatically deal damage equal to her Strength modifier (minimum 1 point of damage) to her attacker, if the attacker is within her reach.
Reverse Strength (Ex)The black belt knows how to use an opponent's strength against it. Whenever she successfully grapples an opponent, she deals damage equal to the opponent's Strength modifier (minimum 1 point).
Shove Aside (Ex)Evasion class feature or master techniqueWhen a black belt and an adjacent ally are both in the area of an attack that requires a saving throw, she can take a –4 penalty on her saving throw to grant her ally a +4 bonus on his saving throw. She loses the evasion ability against this attack. If she has improved evasion, it is reduced to evasion for this attack instead.
Slow Metabolism (Ex)The black belt has a slower-than-normal metabolism. She can hold her breath for twice as long as normal before needing to make Constitution checks (four times her Constitution score). In addition, whenever the black belt is poisoned, the time between saving throws (the poison’s frequency) is doubled. Thus, a poison that has a frequency of “1/round for 6 rounds” would instead be “half rounds for 12 rounds.”
Stand Up (Ex)A black belt with this technique can stand up from a prone position as a swift action. This still provokes attacks of opportunity for standing up while threatened by a foe.
Stinging Jab (Ex)Once per encounter, when the black belt hits a target with an unarmed attack, she can choose to deal half damage with her attack. If she does so, her enemy also deals half damage on all melee attacks he or she makes until the end of her next turn.
Sucker Punch (Ex)Once per round, when the black belt's unarmed attack damages an opponent that is denied its Dexterity bonus to its AC, that opponent cannot take Attacks of Opportunity until the end of its next turn.
Superior Senses (Ex)A black belt with this technique has a mastery over her senses, and can detect presences by smell and sound as well as she can with sight. She gains a +10 to her Perception rolls to locate creature who benefit from invisibility.
Tavern Brawler (Ex)While being flanked, the black belt gains a +1 bonus on Unarmed attack rolls and damage rolls.
Unarmed Smash (Ex)A black belt deals an additional +1 point of damage with unarmed attacks.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex)The black belt can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, even if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A black belt with this technique can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against her. If a black belt already has uncanny dodge from a different class, she automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Unrelenting Assault (Ex)Melee Power master techniqueThe black belt launches herself at her foe, attacking with weapons, limbs, or anything else available. Whenever she misses with a melee attack or the attack is negated, she still deals her Strength bonus in damage to the target (minimum 1), or 1.5 x her Strength bonus if she attacks with a weapon she is wielding two-handed.

Advanced Master Technique

At 12th level, and every two levels thereafter, a black belt can choose one of the following advanced master techniques in place of a master technique.

Table: Advanced Master Techniques

Advanced Master TechniquesPrerequisitesBenefits
Another Day (Ex)Once per day, when the black belt would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by a melee attack, she can take a 5-foot step as an immediate action. If the movement takes her out of the reach of the attack, she takes no damage from the attack. The black belt is staggered for 1 round on her next turn.
Center of Combat (Ex)A black belt with this technique gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC for every adjacent opponent beyond the first.
Critical Strike (Ex)Improved Critical featThe black belt can choose to take a cumulative –2 penalty on all melee attack rolls and combat maneuver checks to gain a +1 bonus onto her critical threat range on all attacks with any weapon she has Improved Critical for to a maximum of +5. This bonus is applied after doubling the critical threat range of the weapon from the Improved Critical Feat.
Defensive Roll (Ex)The black belt can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than she otherwise would. When she would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the black belt can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the black belt must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC = damage dealt). If she succeeds, the black belt takes only half damage from the blow; if she fails, she takes full damage. She must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute her defensive roll; if she is denied her Dexterity bonus to AC, she can't use this ability. Since such damage would not normally allow a character to attempt a Reflex save for half damage, the black belt's evasion ability does not apply to the defensive roll.
Devastating Melee Smash (Ex)Melee Power master techniqueOnce per encounter, before making the black belt's attack roll, she may choose to add her black belt levels to damage with her unarmed strike or one-handed weapons with the "monk" special feature. If she misses, this attempt is wasted. This talent may be selected multiple times, each time granting one additional attempt per encounter.
Die Harder (Ex)Diehard featA black belt with this technique is no longer knocked unconscious from nonlethals. If the black belt continues to receive further nonlethal damage, if the amount of nonlethal damage is equal to or greater than her Constitution score, she immediately falls unconscious.
Fast Tumble (Ex)When a black belt with this technique uses Acrobatics to tumble at full speed through a threatened square without provoking an attack of opportunity, the DC of the Acrobatics check does not increase by 10.
Ferocity (Ex)Diehard featA black belt that selects this technique may continue fighting without penalty until her hit points reach -10 + her Constitution score.
Hard Minded (Ex)A black belt with this technique is hard to fool with mind-affecting effects. At the start of her turn, if she is still subject to any mind-affecting spells or effects, she can make a Will saving throw with a standard DC for the effect’s level, and if she succeeds at the check, she is no longer subject to the mind-affecting effect. She can make this saving throw even against mind-affecting effects that normally don’t allow a saving throw. In those cases, generate the saving throw as if the spell or effect did allow a saving throw.
Hustle (Ex)Fast Movement class feature or martial art talentWhenever the black belt would be allowed to take a 5-ft.-step, she may take a 10-ft.-step instead. Any ability, effect, feat, or rule that applies to a 5-ft.-step now applies when she takes a 10-ft.-step.
Improved Ki Pool (Ex)Ki pool class feature or martial art talentA black belt with this technique increases the number of points in the ki pool that she gains from the ki pool martial art talent to be equal to half her black belt level + her Wisdom modifier. In addition, she can spend 2 points from her ki pool as a swift action to gain the skill unlocks for one skill of her choice as appropriate for her number of ranks in that skill. This benefit lasts for 1 minute.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex)Uncanny Dodge class feature or martial art talentThe black belt can no longer be flanked. This defense denies a thief the ability to sneak attack the character by flanking her, unless the attacker has at least four more thief levels than the target has black belt levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from another class, the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum black belt level required to flank the character.
Indomitable (Ex)Hardened Fortitude master techniqueThis technique allows a black belt to add her Constitution modifier to her Will saving throws instead of her Wisdom.
Light Walker (Ex)Ledge Walker martial art talentThe black belt can move at full speed through difficult terrain and can take 5-foot steps into difficult terrain.
Reactionary (Ex)Hardened Fortitude master techniqueThis talent allows a black belt to add her Constitution modifier to her Reflex saving throws instead of her Dexterity.
Reinforced Fortitude (Ex)If a black belt makes a Fortitude save that has an effect on a successful save, she takes no effect on a successful save (i.e., ‘Fortitude partial’ becomes ‘‘Fortitude negate'). This ability can only be used if the black belt is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless black belt does not gain the benefit of the Reinforced Fortitude ability.
Reinforced Will (Ex)If a black belt makes a Will save that has an effect on a successful save, she takes no effect on a successful save (i.e., ‘Will half' becomes ‘Will negate’). This ability can only be used if the black belt is wearing light armor or no armor. A helpless black belt does not gain the benefit of the Reinforced Will ability.
Redirect Attack (Ex)Once per day, when a black belt with this technique is hit with a melee attack, she can redirect the attack to strike at an adjacent creature with a free action. The creature targeted must be within melee reach of the attack that hit the black belt, and the creature that made the attack against the black belt must make a new attack roll against the new target.