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Martial Arts Student

Not all who learn the martial arts are monks. Even within the monasteries, there are those who practice the styles of the monks without ever mastering their deeper teachings. In more exotic lands where martial arts are commonplace, such as Wutai, Ala Mhigo, and Doma, Martial Arts Students are known as ‘Deshi’ (meaning students) and often serve as temple guards, escorts, and other roles that are filled by Watchpeople in other lands. The deshi is similar to the monk, without mystic abilities. He is often well trained with unarmed combat and can make a formidable opponent. Deshi lacks diverse abilities and make poor adventurers.

Alignment: Any.

Hit Die: d10.

Class Skills
The martial arts student’s class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Acrobatics (Dex), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Escape Artist (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Stealth (Dex), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Martial Arts Student Main Ability Scores:
The martial arts student mainly focuses on STR/DEX for combat.

Table: Martial Arts Student

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecial
1st+1+2+0+0Unarmed Proficiency
5th+5+4+1+1Unarmed Strike

Class Features

The following are the class features of the martial arts student NPC class.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The martial arts student is proficient with any light or one-handed weapon with the “monk” special feature as well as weapons from the close fighter weapon group. They are also proficient with light armor and shields (except tower shields).

Unarmed Proficiency (Ex)

At 1st level, a martial arts student gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A martial arts student may attack with fists, elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a martial arts student may make unarmed strikes with their hands full. A Martial Arts Student applies their full Strength modifier (not half) on damage rolls for all of their unarmed strikes. Usually, a martial arts student’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but they can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on their attack roll. They have the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling. A martial arts student’s unarmed strike is treated as both a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that modify either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.

Unarmed Strike (Ex)

At 5th level, a martial arts student also deals more damage with their unarmed strikes than others, as shown on the table below. A Small-sized martial arts student deals less damage than a Medium-sized martial arts student with their unarmed attacks, while a Large-sized martial arts student deals more damage; see the following table.

Table: Small, Medium, or Large Martial Arts Student Unarmed Damage

LevelDamage (Small)Damage (Medium)Damage (Large)
1st – 4th1d21d31d4
5th – 8th1d31d41d6
8th – 11th1d41d61d8
12th – 15th1d61d82d6
16th – 19th1d81d102d8