Latest News

First update of 2021!

Home > Classes > Hybrid Classes > Samurai > Archetypes (Samurai) >

Iaijutsu Master

The intricate style of swordplay called iaijutsu is dedicated to the martial art of drawing a weapon and attacking in the same fluid motion. This iaijutsu master is based on speed and agility to take down his foes, using momentum instead of pure strength.

The iaijutsu master is an archetype of the samurai class.

Kenki Pool (Su)

Additionally, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 point from this pool to increase the DC of his iaijutsu techniques by 2 for 1 round as a free action and gains 1 kenki point when successfully striking with iaijutsu strike.

This ability modifies kenki pool.

Iaijutsu Strike (Ex)

Beginning at 1st level, an iaijutsu master 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 iaijutsu master’s weapon must be sheathed. As a standard action, the iaijutsu master 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 nor by use of Vital Strike feats. After making an iaijutsu strike, an iaijutsu master takes a –4 penalty to his AC until his next turn, but his weapon is now drawn and he may continually to fight normally. An iaijutsu master can apply iaijutsu techniques to this attack (see below). Regardless of whether he hits his opponent with the iaijutsu strike, an iaijutsu master may sheathe his weapon afterwards. In addition, when making an iaijutsu strike, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki as a free action. If he does, he can roll twice when making this attack roll, taking whichever result he desires. At 10th level, the penalty to his AC is reduced to –2.

This ability replaces forces of sen.

Iaijutsu Techniques (Ex or Su)

At 1st level and every three samurai levels afterwards, an iaijutsu master gains the ability to alter his iaijutsu strike, gaining an iaijutsu technique of his choice. An iaijutsu master can only apply a single iaijutsu technique to an iaijutsu strike. The saving throws of iaijutsu strikes are equal to 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier.

There are two types of iaijutsu techniques; slashes and cuts. Slashes are used to inflict statuses and other such things, while cuts change the area and range of the attack.

Armor-Rending Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or take a -2 penalty to their armor class for a number of rounds equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 6th level, this penalty increases to -4. At 12th level, this penalty increases to -6. This penalty does not stack with itself or other uses of this technique.

Bloody Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature takes bleed damage equal to half the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Crippling Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or take 1d4 Dexterity or Strength ability damage (iaijutsu master’s choice). At 12th level, this ability damage increases to 1d6. At 18th level, this ability damage increases to 1d8. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Death Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or die. This is a death effect. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least at least 16th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Dimensional Slash (Su): Whenever the iaijutsu master strikes a creature with this iaijutsu technique, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or be teleported to a square within 30 feet of the iaijutsu master’s choice (this space must be on solid ground and not be considered dangerous terrain, as decided by the GM). At 17th level, the distance the creature can be teleported to increases to 60 feet. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least at least 13th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Dispelling Slash (Su): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature or object, he can can make a dispel check against his target as though using the targeted dispel function of dispel, treating his samurai level as his caster level. Once a creature or object has been affected by this iaijutsu technique, it cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours. At 14th level, this technique is instead treated as greater dispel. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 10th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Explosive Cut (Su): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, he can choose to make the attack take the form of a 10-foot burst within 60 feet of himself, although his weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage he deals. All creatures within this burst must make a successful Reflex save or take damage as though the attack was successful (taking half damage on a successful save). The iaijutsu master can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to his Charisma modifier. At 16th level, it can instead take the form of a 20-foot burst. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 10th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Flowing River Cut (Ex): As a full round action, the iaijutsu master can move up to his speed, making an iaijutsu strike during any point during this movement. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At 8th level, he can instead move up to two times his speed and may make an additional iaijutsu strike against a different creature. At 16th level, he can instead move up to three times his speed, and may make any amount of iaijutsu strikes, but he may not attack an individual creature more than once.

Forceful Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, he can make a free bull rush attempt (this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) against that creature, and he is not required to move with his opponent. At 8th level, if the foe is pushed back by this technique, they are also knocked prone. At 16th level, if the foe is knocked prone by this technique, they are also staggered for 1 round (Fortitude save negates).

Hidden Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Perception check with a DC equal to the iaijutsu master’s attack roll or be completely unaware the iaijutsu master made an attack against them. All those who would have seen the attack must make the same Perception check with a -5 penalty to be aware of the attack. The iaijutsu master can delay the effects of this attack (including damage) by a number of minutes equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 12th level, the iaijutsu master can instead delay the effects of his attack for a number of hours equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 18th level, the iaijutsu master can instead delay the effects of his attack for a number of days equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). If the iaijutsu master wishes, he may trigger the damage early as an immediate action by sheathing his weapon within 60 feet of the creature. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Hindering Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Reflex saving throw or be staggered for 1 round. At 12th level, the foe is instead stunned for 1 round. At 18th level, is instead paralyzed for 1 round and then staggered for 1 round. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Lethargy Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Fortitude saving throw or become fatigued for a number of rounds equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 8th level, his foe is instead exhausted for the duration of this effect. At 14th round, the foe is also staggered for 1 round.

Long Cut (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, he can choose to make the attack take the form of a line which extends 30 feet from himself. All creatures within this line must make a successful Reflex save or take damage as though the attack was successful (taking half damage on a successful save), although his weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage he deals. The iaijutsu master can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to his Charisma modifier. At 11th level, this line can instead extend 60 feet from himself. At 18th level, this line can instead extend 90 feet from himself. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Lunging Cut (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, his reach increases by 5 feet for this attack (this does not stack with the Lunge feat). At 10th level, he instead increase his reach for this attack by 10 feet. At 20th level, he instead increase his reach for this attack by 15 feet.

Nightmare Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Will saving throw or become shaken for a number of rounds equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 8th level, the foe is also frightened for 1 round. At 14th level, the foe is also cowering for 1 round and then frightened for 1 round. This is a fear effect.

Ranged Cut (Ex): The iaijutsu master can make an iaijutsu strike at a range of 30 feet, attacking a foe with the wind pressure of his strike. Treat this attack as a melee attack that deals wind damage for how the attack and damage rolls are determined for this technique, although his weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage he deals. At 6th level, this range increase to 60 feet. At 12th level, this range increases to 120 feet. at 20th level, this range increases to 200 feet. This technique is treated as a ranged attack of one size smaller than the iaijutsu master for how wind and other effects affects it.

Soul Slash (Su): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Fortitude saving throw or gain 2 negative levels. At 16th level, this is increased to 3 negative levels. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 10th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

Tornado Cut (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, he can choose to target all spaces adjacent to them. Each attack only uses a single attack roll to determine success, and any miss chances are rolled individually. The iaijutsu master can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to his Charisma modifier. At 10th level, he can instead choose to attack all spaces within 10 feet of himself. At 20th level, he can instead choose to attack all spaces within 15 feet of himself.

Utility Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, the iaijutsu master can attempt one of the following combat maneuvers against that creature as a free action which doesn’t provoke an attack of opportunity: bull rush, disarm, reposition, sunder, or trip. At 8th level, whenever the iaijutsu master picks a combat maneuver, he is treated as though he had the corresponding “Greater” feat for that combat maneuver (for example, an 8th level iaijutsu master who chose to trip an opponent with this iaijutsu technique would be treated as though he had the Greater Trip feat when making this trip attempt).

Vacuum Slash (Ex): Whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, he can select 1 creature or object his size or smaller within 10 feet of them, forcing that creature to make a successful Reflex saving throw or be pulled 5 feet towards the iaijutsu master (objects do not receive a save). This movement resolves before the attack roll, allowing them to target that creature or object with his iaijutsu strike. At 10th level, the creature or object can be up to 20 feet away and pulled up to 10 feet, taking a -2 penalty to his AC against the attack. At 14th level, the creature or object can be up to 30 ft away and pulled up to 15 feet, the penalty to his AC increasing to -4. Prerequisite: An iaijutsu master must be at least 4th level to select this iaijutsu technique.

These abilities replace weaponskills.

Sheath Control (Ex)

At 2nd level, an iaijutsu master gains Quick Draw as a bonus feat as well as being able to sheathe a katana as a free action that can be taken even outside of his turn after making an attack with it. In addition, an iaijutsu master can treat a sheathed katana as drawn for the purpose of threatening spaces and can draw his weapon as part of an attack of opportunity.

This ability replaces action without thought.

Kiai Arts (Su)

At 2nd level and every four samurai levels after, an iaijutsu master gains new ways to channel his fighting kenki into shouts called kiai arts. At each listed level, the iaijutsu master gains all listed kiai arts for that level. Although kiai arts are supernatural abilities, they all have a verbal component of a shout and thus cannot be used whenever a spell with a verbal component would be unusable.

2nd Level

            Duty’s Call (Su): As a standard action, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki and touch an ally under the effect of a [fear] effect. If he does, that ally can make an additional saving throw against that effect with a morale bonus equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier. On a successful saving throw, the effect is ended as though the ally had made a successful saving throw. If the saving throw was successful, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 additional kenki as a free action to absorb the effect into himself, being able to discharge it by performing a melee touch attack against a creature as a standard action, being treated as though he were the caster for the purpose of its effects. An iaijutsu master can only hold a single [fear] effect, and must discharge it within a number of minutes equal to his Charisma modifier or else it is discharged harmlessly. An iaijutsu master can spend 2 kenki while using this kiai art; if he does, it can be used as a move action.

            Follow My Lead (Su): Whenever the iaijutsu master successfully strikes a creature, he can spend 1 kenki as a free action. If he does, all allies within 60 feet of himself gain a circumstance bonus to damage rolls against that enemy equal to half the samurai’s level for a number of rounds equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1).

            Soul-Rending Shout (Su): As a standard action, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki. If he does, the iaijutsu master can make an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 60 feet of himself, ignoring any immunity to fear effect those creatures may possess. If this check is successful, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 additional kenki to cause the creatures to be frightened rather than shaken. An iaijutsu master can spend 2 kenki while using this kiai art; if he does, it can be used as a move action.

6th Level

            Duty’s Call, Charm (Su): The duty’s call kiai art can now be used for [charm] effects as well as [fear] effects.

            Ghost Blade (Su): As a free action, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki. If he does, any weapon he is currently wielding gains the ghost touch property for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier. In addition, if the iaijutsu master attacks a creature he has iaijutsu striked, he can ignore any miss chance that creature possesses granted by spells, spell-like abilities, extraordinary abilities, or supernatural effects (such as blur, vanish, or similar effects).

            To Your Last Breath (Su): As a swift action, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki. If he does, he gains a number of temporary hit points equal to his samurai level + his Charisma modifier for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier. While an iaijutsu master possesses temporary hit points from this ability, he ignores the fatigued and exhausted condition (this does not remove the condition, instead suppressing it). An iaijutsu master can choose to spend 2 kenki when using this kiai art; if he does, at the beginning of each of his turns, he gains an additional amount of temporary hit points equal to half his samurai level; these temporary hit points stack with those granted by spending 1 kenki.

10th Level

            Duty’s Call, Compulsion (Su): The duty’s call kiai art can now be used for [compulsion] effects as well as [fear] and [charm] effects.

            Regroup (Su): As a standard action, the iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki. If he does, he gains the effects of a freedom of movement spell for a number of rounds equal to his Charisma modifier. Unlike other kiai arts, this can be used as a purely mental action, no longer requiring a verbal component. In addition, all allies within 60 feet can move up to 60 feet as long as he would end this movement closer to the iaijutsu master. An iaijutsu master can choose to spend 2 kenki when using this kiai art; if he does, allies are also under the effect of freedom of movement for 1 round and are instead teleported to a space adjacent to the iaijutsu master (or as close as possible if there are not any open squares adjacent to the iaijutsu master).

            Spirit Charge (Su): As a full round action, an iaijutsu master can spend 1 kenki. If he does, he becomes ethereal and any weapon he wields gains the ghost touch property until the end of his turn, moving 60 feet in a straight line. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and the iaijutsu master can make an attack roll against any creature that he is adjacent to at any point during his movement. The samurai can use any iaijutsu technique with ‘slash’ in the name with each of these attacks, being able to use a different iaijutsu technique for each attack. An iaijutsu master can choose to spend 2 kenki when using this kiai art; if he does, he can use this kiai art as a standard action.

14th Level

            Duty’s Call, Possession (Su): The duty’s call kiai art can now be used to reroll saves against any magical possession effects. The iaijutsu master cannot spend kenki to hold a magical possession effect.

            Rebuke Sorcery (Su): As an immediate action, the iaijutsu master can spend 2 kenki. If he does, the grant all allies (including himself) within 60 feet a morale bonus to their saves against spells and spell-like abilities equal to the iaijutsu master’s Charisma modifier for 1 round per samurai level. This morale bonus does not stack with any other ability that allows a creature to apply his Charisma modifier to his saving throws.

            Yojimbo’s Presence (Su): As a move action, the iaijutsu master can spend 2 kenki. If he does, until the beginning of the iaijutsu master’s next turn, whenever an ally within 60 feet of the iaijutsu master is targeted with an attack roll, the iaijutsu master can spend a free action (even if it is not his turn) to teleport both himself and the targeted ally, switching spaces with the ally (if the ally would take up more spaces than the iaijutsu master, the iaijutsu master must end this movement in a space in which he could be a target of the triggering attack). The attack is instead resolved against the iaijutsu master, and provokes an attack of opportunity from the iaijutsu master which is resolved before the triggering attack. An iaijutsu master can choose to spend 3 kenki when using this kiai art; if he does, whenever he is teleported, all attacks made against the iaijutsu master provoke attacks of opportunity (which are resolved before the attack) until the beginning of the iaijutsu master’s next turn.

18th Level

            Duty’s Call, Mind (Su): The duty’s call kiai art can now be used to reroll saves against any mind-affecting effects. The iaijutsu master cannot spend kenki to hold a mind-affecting effect unless it is already a [fear], [charm], or [compulsion] effect.

            Shogun’s Demand (Su): As a standard action, the iaijutsu master can spend 3 kenki to impose order on the battlefield. If he does, he create a supernatural field forms in a 60-foot. radius around the iaijutsu master which remains, stationary, for 1 minute. In this zone, flying creatures are immediately forced to land, ethereal creatures are forced to enter the material plane if used on a material plane, magical effects cannot move between planes or cause movement between planes, all illusion effects are suppressed, and physical movement in or out of the zone is prevented. Creatures do not receive a save to resist these effects except the restriction against moving in or out of the zone; a successful saving throw (DC 10 + half of the samurai’s level + his Charisma modifier) while attempting to cross the boundary allows the subject to move in or out as intended.

These abilities replace bushido pool and bushido arts.

Iaijutsu Finesse (Ex)

At 2nd level, an iaijutsu master may use the katana of his size category; using his Dexterity modifier instead of his Strength modifier on attack rolls. If he carries a shield, its armor check penalty applies to his attack rolls.

This ability replaces blazing initiative.

Sheath Block (Ex)

At 3rd level, whenever the iaijutsu master makes an iaijutsu strike, if he has a free hand, he can use it to pull out his sheath, gaining a +2 shield bonus against melee attacks until the beginning of his next turn. At the beginning of his next turn, he can return his sheath to his hip and sheathe his weapon as a free action. At 7th level and every four samurai levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1.

This ability replaces resolve.

Slashing Momentum (Ex)

At 5th level, an iaijutsu master may add his Dexterity modifier to his katana damage instead of his Strength modifier.

This ability replaces dragon defense.

Advanced Blade (Ex)

At 6th level, an iaijutsu master gains Vital Strike as a bonus feat. At 11th level, he gains Improved Vital Strike. At 16th level, he gains Greater Vital Strike. If the iaijutsu master already has these feats, he may take another Combat Feat for which he meets the prerequisites for. In addition, the iaijutsu master can use these feats with Iaijutsu Strike, but no more than once a round, even if the iaijutsu master has a way to iaijutsu strike more than once.

This ability replaces meditate.

Brutal Slash (Ex)

At 8th level, a iaijutsu master’s iaijutsu strike becomes even more deadly. If an iaijutsu master 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.

This ability replaces kenki charge and true kenki charge.

Opportune Slash (Ex)

At 9th level, once per round, an iaijutsu master can treat an attack of opportunity as an iaijutsu strike.

This ability replaces greater resolve.

Iaijutsu Mastery (Ex)

At 11th level, whenever an iaijutsu master uses a slash iaijutsu technique, he can also apply a cut iaijutsu technique to the attack (such as ranged cut and armor-rending slash). If a technique which forces a creature to make a saving throw affects more than a single creature, the saving throw of any iaijutsu techniques applied to the iaijustu strike is reduced by -2.

This ability replaces third eye.

Swift Slice (Ex)

At 12th level, an iaijutsu master may make an extra attack with his katana as a standard action as part of his iaijutsu strike.

This ability replaces stalwart and deliverance.

Terrifying Iaijutsu (Ex)

At 17th level, an iaijutsu master’s iaijutsu strike devastates the morale of foes that witness it. When an iaijutsu master 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.

This ability replaces true resolve.

Roaring Iaijutsu (Ex)

At 17th level, an iaijutsu master’s iaijutsu strike deafens foes upon impact. When an iaijutsu master 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.

This ability replaces merciful eyes.

Iaijutsu Master