Far across the rolling waves, towards the rising sun, there lies the island nation of Hingashi. In the distant past, the realm’s great lords vied for supremacy over its sea-girt confines in a long and bloody conflict. And taking to battle in their lieges’ names were noble swordsmen whose art was forged in the crucible of war: the samurai. Eventually, the nation was unified under one banner, and these warriors came to wield their katana not upon fields as part of an army, but upon streets as protectors of the peace. But as a neglected blade grows dull with rust, so too do men forget their purpose. Amidst waning memories of the old ways, a determined few hold fast to their convictions, hands by katana grips, awaiting the moment for steel to sing.
Role: Excelling in melee combat, these warriors focus precise strikes to deal devastating damage to his foes; his tenacity and will power allowing them to shrug off attacks. he strike with fast and precise attacks, building his warrior spirit (kenki) before unleashing powerful moves, instilling fear into his enemies before wiping them out with powerful weaponskills enhanced with his bushido arts. his mastery and use of the katana is unmatched by any other.
Hit Die: d10
Parent Classes: Monk and Knight.
Starting Wealth: 5d6 × 10 gil (average 175 gil.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gil or less.
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), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Skill Points Per Level: 4 + Int modifier
Class Main Ability Scores:
The samurai mainly focuses on STR/DEX for martial combat and CHA for their class features.
All of the following are class features of the samurai.
Limit Breaks (Su)
At 1st level, the samurai receives the Limit Breaks (Sixth Sense and Unseen Strike).
Sixth Sense (Su): This Limit Break allows the samurai to sense all incoming attacks and dodge with relative ease. Any melee or range attacks automatically misses unless a natural roll of 20 is rolled, and even then, the critical threat is unconfirmed unless another natural roll of 20 is rolled. This ability only dodges a number of attacks equal to the samurai’s Dexterity modifier per round. This lasts for a duration of 1 round + 1 round per four samurai levels after 1st. 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 number of 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.
At 1st level, a samurai gains Improved Initiative as a bonus feat. In addition, the samurai may automatically draw her weapon as a free action (that can be taken even when it’s not her turn) whenever a creature within 30 ft. (including herself) takes at least one point of lethal damage.
Kenki Pool (Su)
At 1st level, a samurai gains access to kenki, using it to focus his attacks. A samurai begins the day with no kenki, but can gain kenki in the following ways (a samurai cannot gain kenki from each of these more than once per round. Prerequisite: A samurai must be at least in combat to gain kenki):
- Critical Spirit: Whenever the samurai rolls a critical hit, he gains 1 kenki.
- Spirited Initiative: Whenever the samurai rolls initiative, he gains 1 kenki.
- Warrior’s Guard: Whenever the samurai takes damage from an attack originating from a creature’s (including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities) melee or ranged attack (including any action which required an attack roll to deal damage), he gains 1 kenki. A samurai does not gain kenki from attacks made against them while he is flat-footed or unaware.
His kenki goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than his samurai level + his Charisma modifier (minimum 1), though some feats, abilities, and magic items may affect this maximum. If a samurai spends 1 minute or longer outside of combat, he loses all kenki he possesses. Kenki is used to power the samurai’s resolve, weaponskills, and other class features.
Starting at 1st level and every three samurai levels thereafter, a samurai learns a new weaponskill to assist him in defeating his enemies. Some weaponskills get even more powerful when used in combination with another weaponskill.
If a weaponskill requires an attack roll, it must be first prepared as a swift action. This effect lasts until the end of the samurai’s next round, allowing him to replace his next melee attack with his chosen weaponskill or multiple weaponskills with a full-attack action. All weaponskills with an attack component are made at the samurai’s highest base attack bonus.
- A complete list of weaponskills can be found here: Weaponskills
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 cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does he lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. He still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A samurai with this ability can still lose his Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action against him. In addition, he gains a +2 competence bonus to initiative.
Bushido Pool (Su)
A samurai 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 2nd level and every two samurai levels thereafter, a samurai gains a bushido art from the list below. A bushido cannot be selected more than once unless stated otherwise. Abilities with an asterisk (*) requires the samurai to spend a point of his bushido pool to use.
- A complete list of bushido arts can be found here: Bushido Arts
Armor Training (Ex)
Starting at 3rd level, a samurai learns to be more maneuverable while wearing armor. Whenever he is wearing armor, he reduces the armor check penalty by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and increases the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed by his armor by 1. Every four levels thereafter (7th, 11th, 15th and 19th), these bonuses increase by +1 each time, to a maximum –5 reduction of the armor check penalty and a +5 increase of the maximum Dexterity bonus allowed. In addition, a samurai can also move at his normal speed while wearing medium armor. At 7th level, a samurai can move at his normal speed while wearing heavy armor.
Starting at 3rd level, the samurai gains resolve that he can call upon to endure even the most devastating wounds and afflictions. He can spend 1 kenki as the listed action type to use resolve in a number of ways.
- Determined: As a standard action, the samurai can spend 1 kenki 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 1 kenki, as an immediate action, to gain the lucky status effect for this one roll. 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 1 kenki, 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.
Blazing Initiative (Ex)
At 3rd level, if the samurai makes an initiative roll that would place him before his enemies in the turn order, he gains an additional kenki point.
First Strike (Su)
At 4th level, whenever the samurai hits an enemy that has yet to act, he deals an additional +1d6 points of precision damage. For every four samurai levels thereafter, this increases by +1d6.
One with the Sword (Ex)
The group of weapons from the eastern weapon group are noble weapons to a samurai. This is his choice of weaponry and thus puts the most amount of practice into it. At 5th level, while wielding any melee eastern weapon, a samurai gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with these weapons. At 9th level and every four samurai levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1.
Dragon Defense (Ex)
Also at 5th level, as a free action, a samurai can choose to take on a dangerous stance which enhances his spiritual prowess. Whenever he does, he suffer the following effects until the next time he receives damage or the beginning of his next turn, whichever comes first:
- The next attack made against the samurai targets his touch AC.
- The samurai takes a -10 penalty to Reflex saves.
The next time the samurai take damage while using this ability, if that damage would activate his warrior’s guard ability, rather than gaining 1 kenki, he instead gains 2 kenki. In addition, as an immediate action, the samurai can make an Intimidate check against the creature that dealt damage to them to demoralize or antagonize that creature as long as he is aware of that source of the damage, ignoring any immunity to fear it possesses.
At 6th level, the samurai can take time to focus his body and mind for the coming battles ahead. He can spend 30 minutes in meditation to grant himself an insight bonus on one saving throw equal to his Charisma modifier for 24 hours. If the samurai meditates again, he loses the previous bonus.
Kenki Charge (Ex)
Greater Resolve (Ex)
At 9th level, a samurai can spend his kenki to negate some of his most grievous wounds. After a critical hit is confirmed against him, the samurai can spend 1 kenki as an immediate action to treat that critical hit as a normal hit. Effects that only trigger on a critical hit do not trigger when the samurai uses this ability.
Third Eye (Ex)
At 11th level, the samurai’s senses are so keen that he is able to predict where to dodge an opponent’s attacks. Once per round, the samurai may attempt an Acrobatics check (as an immediate action) to negate the hit. The hit is negated if his Acrobatics check result is greater than the opponent’s attack roll. The samurai can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + his Charisma modifier.
At 11th level, a samurai can use mental and physical resiliency to avoid certain attacks. If he makes a Fortitude or Will saving throw against an attack that has a reduced effect on a successful save, he avoids the effect entirely. A helpless samurai does not gain the benefit of the stalwart ability.
At 14th 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.
True Kenki Charge (Ex)
Merciful Eyes (Ex)
Also at 15th 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.
True Resolve (Ex)
At 17th level, a samurai can spend kenki to avoid death. If he has at least 2 points of kenki remaining, he can spend all points of kenki that he has available to them as an immediate action to avoid death. Regardless of the source of the attack that would have killed him, he is left alive, at –1 hit points (or lower if he were already below –1), unconscious, and stable.
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.
Last Stand (Su)
At 19th level, a samurai can spend 1 kenki as a move action to declare a last stand. For one round, the samurai takes minimum damage from all sources, becomes immune to death effects, and does not die from having negative hit points in excess of his Constitution score. In addition, the samurai remains conscious and is not staggered while he is below 0 hit points. At the start of each subsequent turn, the samurai can spend 1 kenki as a free action to extend the last stand for another round, but while under the effects of last stand, he cannot gain kenki.
Once the last stand ends, the samurai gains 1 negative level. The negative level cannot be removed by normal means but heals when the samurai completes an 8-hour rest. If the samurai gains multiple negative levels through last stand, he is all healed by the same 8-hour rest.
Master Samurai (Ex)
At 20th level, the samurai’s prowess with his weapon is unmatched. His critical threat rate while wielding any melee eastern weapon increases by 1 (which is applied after Improved Critical and similar effects) and the critical multiplier of his melee eastern weapon increases by 1 (to a max of x4). He may never be disarmed while wielding any melee eastern weapons.
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 samurai 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 +1/2 to Intimidate skill checks.
- Elvaan: Add +1/6 to the DC of Bushidos.
- Galka: Add +1/3 to the samurai’s critical confirmation rolls.
- Half-Breed: Add +1/6 to the samurai’s known Bushidos.
- Hume: Add +1/6 to the samurai’s known Bushidos.
- Immortal: 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.
- A complete list of samurai archetypes can be found here: Samurai Archetypes