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Legendary Samurai

Eastern Classes and Western Fantasy

One of the things that many players will hear upon asking to play a legendary samurai is “This is a western game, things like samurai do not exist.” This is a disheartening statement, and it isn’t necessary. The legendary samurai obviously contains content that speaks to its heritage as a Japanese class and concept, but no mechanic of it requires a Japanese-themed setting to work. The legendary samurai is easily reflavored to fit a game that would allow a magus or other magical warrior. Some GMs may have the perception that it breaks verisimilitude, or that their setting “doesn’t have a Japanese-influenced area.” To those, I suggest considering the samurai the same as a cavalier, an honorable warrior with unique talents and social skills.

The class could just as easily be considered a legendary spellsword (or certain archetypes/alternative class features could be used to remove the more mystic aspect from it).

While a legendary samurai would be ideal for a game that allows for Japanese influences, the material contained within has been balanced to work with all existing classes. We suggest speaking with GMs who wouldn’t normally allow Japanese-themed content into their games to take these things into account in order to make your experience with the class as enjoyable as possible. As always, communication is the best way to make sure your GM, your fellow players, and you are having the best possible experience.

Few warriors are more dedicated to honor and the code of the warrior than the samurai. Trained from an early age in the art of war and sworn to the service of a lord, the samurai holds a position of power and respect in many lands, often serving as the voice and justice of the local noble. The samurai takes on their training with zeal, learning the way of the blade (typically a katana). Some even learn how to effectively use firearms, if they are available. The samurai is often the most trusted soldier in their lord’s employ. In them, the common folk see honor and sacrifice. They are an honorable warrior, dedicated to the realm and the leaders that guide it.

Role: Masters of the blade, legendary samurai specialize in the art of swordsmanship. Able to use their weapons to create a variety of effects, they also draw upon internal energies to further enhance themselves, being able to withstand a plethora of ailments while standing tall against adversity.

Legendary Class: Unlike other legendary classes, the legendary samurai marks a large departure from the base class in order to create a class that is more in keeping with the fantasy of samurai. Class features such as iaijutsu strike and iaijutsu technique help to give the class a unique identity while warrior’s grace seeks to replicate the status samurai traditionally had in communities. In addition, spirit gives the class a new and unique way of engaging in combat, a resource with allows them to tap into more mystical abilities to make combat far more engaging.

Alignment: Any

Hit Die: d10

Starting Wealth: 3d6 x 10 gp (average 105 gp). In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.

Class Skills: The legendary samurai’s class skills are Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Handle Animal (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (history) (Int), Knowledge (local) (Int) Knowledge (nobility) (Int), Perception (Wis), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Ride (Dex), Sense Motive (Wis), and Swim (Str).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Table: Legendary Samurai
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +1 +2 +0 +2 Challenge, iaijutsu strike, iaijutsu technique, sheath control, spirit
2nd +2 +3 +0 +3 Resolve, warrior’s grace
3rd +3 +3 +1 +3 Blazing initiative, kiai art, samurai’s renown
4th +4 +4 +1 +4 Banner, Sheathe Block
5th +5 +4 +1 +4 Dragon defense, iaijutsu technique
6th +6/+1 +5 +2 +5 Advanced blade, warrior’s grace
7th +7/+2 +5 +2 +5 Kiai art, spirit charge
8th +8/+3 +6 +2 +6 Daimyo’s renown, opportune slash
9th +9/+4 +6 +3 +6 Greater resolve, iaijutsu technique
10th +10/+5 +7 +3 +7 Greater banner, iaijutsu mastery
11th +11/+6/+1 +7 +3 +7 Advanced blade, kiai art
12th +12/+7/+2 +8 +4 +8 Blazing initiative, warrior’s grace
13th +13/+8/+3 +8 +4 +8 Iaijutsu technique
14th +14/+9/+4 +9 +4 +9 Shogun’s renown, true spirit charge
15th +15/+10/+5 +9 +5 +9 Kiai art
16th +16/+11/+6/+1 +10 +5 +10 Advanced blade
17th +17/+12/+7/+2 +10 +5 +10 Iaijutsu technique, true resolve
18th +18/+13/+8/+3 +11 +6 +11 Warrior’s grace
19th +19/+14/+9/+4 +11 +6 +11 Kiai art
20th +20/+15/+10/+5 +12 +6 +12 Emperor’s renown, last stand, warrior’s grace

Class Features

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies

Samurai are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the tetsubo and all one-handed slashing weapons. Samurai are proficient with all types of armor (heavy, light, and medium).

Spirit (Su)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai gains access to spirit, using it to focus their attacks. A legendary samurai begins the day with no spirit, but can gain spirit in the following ways (a legendary samurai cannot gain spirit from each of these more than once per round and a legendary samurai must be in combat to gain spirit):

  • Spirited Initiative: Whenever the legendary samurai rolls initiative, they gain 1 spirit.
  • Samurai Strike: Whenever the legendary samurai successfully damages a creature with an iaijutsu strike, they gain 1 spirit.
  • Warrior’s Guard: Whenever the legendary samurai takes damage from an attack originating from a creature (including spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities), they gain 1 spirit. A legendary samurai does not gain spirit from attacks made against them while they are flat-footed or unaware. Their spirit goes up or down throughout the day, but usually cannot go higher than their Charisma modifier (minimum 1), though some feats, abilities, and magic items may affect this maximum. If a legendary samurai spends 1 minute or longer outside of combat, they lose all spirit they possess. Spirit is used to power the legendary samurai’s challenge, kiai arts, resolve, and other class features.

Challenge (Ex)

As a swift action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit to choose one target within their sight to challenge; a samurai can only have a single creature challenged at a time. The legendary samurai’s melee attacks deal extra damage when made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the legendary samurai’s level. Whenever a legendary samurai rolls initiative, they gain 1 spirit which can only be used to activate this ability (this spirit is gained in addition to the spirited initiative class feature).

Challenging a foe requires much of the legendary samurai’s concentration. The legendary samurai takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of his challenge. As long as the target is within the threatened area of the legendary samurai, it takes a –2 penalty to its AC on attacks made by anyone other than the samurai.

The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious, or until the combat ends.

Iaijutsu Strike (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai can strike in the blink of an eye, cutting down foes with their unique talents. A legendary samurai can make an attack action with a a one-handed slashing weapon as long as it is sheathed before the attack; of their turn after making an attack with it. In addition, a legendary samurai can treat a sheathed weapon as drawn for the purpose of threatening spaces, being allowed to draw their weapon when a creature would provoke an attack of opportunity from them.

Iaijutsu Techniques (Ex or Su)

At 1st level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains the ability to alter their iaijutsu strike, gaining an iaijutsu technique of their choice. A legendary samurai can only apply a single iaijutsu technique to an iaijutsu strike. The saving throws of iaijutsu strikes are equal to 10 + 1/2 the legendary samurai’s class level + their 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.

if they do, they treat that attack as though the weapon was wielded in two hands for the purpose of how much damage it deals. In addition, a legendary samurai can apply iaijutsu talents to this attack (see below). In addition, when making an iaijutsu strike, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit as a free action. If they do, they can roll twice when making this attack roll, taking whichever result they desire.

Sheath Control (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai gains Quick Draw as a bonus feat as well as being able to sheathe a weapon as a free action that can be taken even outside of their turn after making an attack with it. In addition, a legendary samurai can treat a sheathed weapon as drawn for the purpose of threatening spaces, being allowed to draw their weapon when a creature would provoke an attack of opportunity from them.

“Sheathed”

While the term ‘sheathed’ may not make sense for weapons that do not have a sheathe (such as polearms and other such weapons), for the purposes of the legendary samurai, it is intended to mean a weapon which is upon the person of the legendary samurai (or able to be accessed easily) which can be drawn but is not currently being wielded.

Iaijutsu Techniques (Ex or Su)

At 1st level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains the ability to alter their iaijutsu strike, gaining an iaijutsu technique of their choice. A legendary samurai can only apply a single iaijutsu technique to an iaijutsu strike. The saving throws of iaijutsu strikes are equal to 10 + 1/2 the legendary samurai’s class level + their 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 legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or take a -2 to their armor class for a number of rounds equal to the legendary samurai’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 talent.

Bloody Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature takes bleed damage equal to 1/2 the legendary samurai’s class level + their Charisma modifier. A legendary samurai must be 5th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Crippling Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai 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 (legendary samurai’s choice). At 12th level, this ability damage increases to 1d6. At 18th level, this ability damage increases to 1d8. A legendary samurai must be 5th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Death Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or die. A legendary samurai must be 17th level or higher to select this talent. This is a death effect.

Dimensional Slash (Su)

Whenever the legendary samurai strikes a creature with this iaijutsu talent, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or be teleported to a square within 30 feet of the legendary samurai’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.

A legendary samurai must be 13th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Dispelling Slash (Su)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature or object, they can can make a dispel check against their target as though using the targeted dispel function of dispel magic, treating their legendary samurai level as their caster level. Once a creature or object has been affected by this iaijutsu talent, it cannot be affected by it again for 24 hours. At 14th level, this talent is instead treated as greater dispel magic. A legendary samurai must be 9th level or higher to select this talent.

Explosive Cut (Su)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, they can choose to make the attack take the form of a 10-foot burst within 60 feet of themselves, although their weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage they deal. 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 legendary samurai can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to their Charisma modifier. At 16th level, it can instead take the form of a 20-foot burst. A legendary samurai must be 9th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Forceful Slash (Ex)

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

Hidden Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Perception check with a DC equal to the legendary samurai’s attack roll or be completely unaware the legendary samurai 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 legendary samurai can delay the effects of this attack (including damage) by a number of minutes equal to their Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 12th level, the legendary samurai can instead delay the effects of their attack for a number of hours equal to their Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 18th level, the legendary samurai can instead delay the effects of their attack for a number of days equal to their Charisma modifier (minimum 1). If the legendary samurai wishes, they may trigger the damage early as an immediate action by sheathing their weapon within 60 feet of the creature. A legendary samurai must be 5th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Hindering Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a Reflex saving throw or be staggered for 1 round.

At 12th round, the foe is instead stunned for 1 round. At 18th level, is instead paralyzed for 1 round and then staggered for 1 round. A legendary samurai must be 6th level or higher to select this talent.

Lethargy Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai 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 legendary samurai’s Charisma modifier (minimum 1). At 8th level, their foe is instead exhausted for the duration of this effect. At 14th round, the foe is also staggered for 1 round.

Limb-cutting Slash (Su)

Whenever the legendary samurai strikes a creature with this iaijutsu talent, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or lose a limb of the legendary samurai’s choice. A legendary samurai must be 15th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Long Cut (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, they can choose to make the attack take the form of a line which extends 30 feet from themselves. 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 their weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage they deal.

The legendary samurai can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to their Charisma modifier.

At 11th level, this line can instead extend 60 feet from themselves. At 18th level, this line can instead extend 90 feet from themselves. A legendary samurai must be 5th level or higher to select this iaijutsu technique.

Lunging Cut (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, their reach increases by 5 feet for this attack (this does not stack with the Lunge feat). At 10th level, they instead increase their reach for this attack by 10 feet. At 20th level, they instead increase their reach for this attack by 15 feet.

Nightmare Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai 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 legendary samurai’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 legendary samurai can make an iaijutsu strike at a range of 30 feet, attacking a foe with the wind pressure of their strike. Treat this attack as a melee attack for how the attack and damage rolls are determined for this talent, although their weapon is treated as one size smaller for how much damage they deal. 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 talent is treated as a ranged attack of one size smaller than the legendary samurai for how wind and other effects affects it.

Soul Slash (Su)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, that creature must make a successful Reflex saving throw or gain 2 negative levels. At 16th level, this is increased to 3 negative levels. A legendary samurai must be 9th level or higher to select this talent.

Flowing River Cut (Ex)

As a full round action, the legendary samurai can move up to their speed, making an iaijutsu strike during any point during this movement. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity. At 8th level, they can instead move up to two times their speed and may make an additional iaijutsu strike against a different creature. At 16th level, they can instead move up to three times their speed, and may make any amount of iaijutsu strikes, but they may not attack an individual creature more than once.

Tornado Cut (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, they 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 legendary samurai can choose to exclude a number of spaces from this attack equal to their Charisma modifier. At 10th level, they can instead choose to attack all spaces within 10 feet of themselves. At 20th level, they can instead choose to attack all spaces within 15 feet of themselves.

Utility Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes a successful iaijutsu strike against a creature, the legendary samurai 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 legendary samurai picks a combat maneuver, they are treated as though they had the corresponding “Greater” feat for that combat maneuver (for example, an 8th level legendary samurai who chose to trip an opponent with this iaijutsu technique would be treated as though they had the Greater Trip feat when making this trip attempt).

Vacuum Slash (Ex)

Whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, they can select 1 creature or object their 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 legendary samurai (objects do not receive a save).

This movement resolves before the attack roll, allowing them to target that creature or object with their 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 their 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 their AC increasing to -4. A legendary samurai must be 5th level or higher to select this talent.

Severed Limbs

If you remove a wing, the target loses a wing natural attack if it had any and cannot fly (creatures with 3 or more wings who lose a wing have their flight maneuverability reduced to clumsy and have their flight speed reduced by 1/2 for each wing which they are missing). If you remove a tentacle, the creature loses all attacks and abilities related to that tentacle. If you remove an arm or leg, the target suffers a series of penalties listed below. Creatures with more than 2 legs do not suffer the penalties listed below, but instead lose 10 feet from their movement speed and lose the benefits of being a quadruped if they had them.

In addition, the target suffers 1 Constitution bleed per missing limb (this bleed damage stacks). A severed limb counts as an object one size category smaller than the creature it came from if using it as an independent object or improvised weapon.

A character who has lost an arm incurs the following penalties:

A character who has lost a leg incurs the following penalties:

  • -10 penalty on Acrobatics, Climb, Ride, Stealth, and certain Perform skill checks (GM’s discretion).
  • Cannot run or charge.
  • Cannot bull rush or overrun and takes a -10 penalty to resist these combat maneuvers.
  • Speed is reduced to 5 feet, and can no longer make a 5-ft. step
  • Carrying capacity is reduced by two thirds and the maximum weight a character can lift over head or off the ground is halved when sitting, impossible when standing.

These penalties do not stack with other penalties for losing limbs.

A character who has lost both arms cannot use any of the listed skills, make attacks, or use objects, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

A character who has lost both legs is always considered flat-footed and prone and can only move 5 feet as a full round action, without the aid of prosthetics or magic.

Resolve (Ex)

Starting at 2nd level, a legendary samurai gains resolve that they can call upon to endure even the most devastating wounds and afflictions. They can spend 1 spirit as the listed action type to use resolve in a number of ways.

Determined: As a standard action, the legendary samurai can remove the fatigued, shaken, or sickened condition. If the legendary samurai is at least 8th level, they can alternatively remove the exhausted, frightened, nauseated, or staggered condition (if nauseated, the legendary samurai can use this ability as a move action). 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: As an immediate action, whenever the legendary samurai is required to make a Fortitude or Will save, they can roll twice and take the better result. They must decide to use this ability before they roll the saving throw.

Unstoppable: As an immediate action, when the legendary samurai is reduced to fewer than 0 hit points but not slain, they can instantly stabilize and remain conscious. They are staggered, but they do not fall unconscious and begin dying if they take a standard or full-round action. They do fall unconscious if they take additional damage from any source.

Warrior’s Grace (Ex)

At 2nd level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai can select one of the following vigilante talents, treating their legendary samurai level as their vigilante level for the purposes of qualifying for this social talent: celebrity discount, celebrity perks, feign innocence, friend of a friend, gauge talent, gist of it, gossip collector, instant recognition, keep ‘em talking, loyal aid, safe house, social grace, show off, triumphant return, or well-known expert.

Blazing Initiative (Ex)

At 3rd level, whenever a legendary samurai would gain 1 spirit from their spirited initiative class feature, they instead gain 2 spirit. At 12th level, they instead gain 3 spirit.

Kiai Arts (Su)

At 3rd level and every four levels after, a legendary samurai gains new ways to channel their fighting spirit into shouts called kiai arts. At each listed level, the legendary samurai 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.

3rd Level

Duty’s Call: As a standard action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit and touch an ally under the effect of a [fear] effect. If they do, that ally can make an additional saving throw against that effect with a morale bonus equal to the legendary samurai’s Charisma bonus. 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 legendary samurai can spend 1 additional spirit as a free action to absorb the effect into themselves, being able to discharge it by performing a melee touch attack against a creature as a standard action, being treated as though they were the caster for the purpose of its effects. A legendary samurai can only hold a single [fear] effect, and must discharge it within a number of minutes equal to their Charisma modifier or else it is discharged harmlessly. A samurai can spend 2 spirit while using this kiai art; if they do, it can be used as a move action.

Follow My Lead: Whenever the legendary samurai successfully strikes a creature, they can spend 1 spirit as a free action. If they do, all allies within 60 feet of themselves gain a circumstance bonus to damage rolls against that enemy equal to 1/2 the legendary samurai’s level for a number of rounds equal to the legendary samurai’s Charisma bonus (minimum 1).

Soul-Rending Shout: As a standard action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit. If they do, the legendary samurai can make an Intimidate check to demoralize all enemies within 60 feet of themselves, ignoring any immunity to fear effect those creatures may possess. If this check is successful, the samurai can spend 1 additional spirit to cause the creatures to be frightened rather than shaken. A samurai can spend 2 spirit while using this kiai art; if they do, it can be used as a move action.

7th Level

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

Ghost Blade: As a free action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit. If they do, any weapon they are currently wielding gains the ghost touch property for a number of rounds equal to their Charisma modifier. In addition, if the legendary samurai attacks a creature they have challenged, they can ignore any miss chance that creature possesses granted by spells, spell-like abilities, extraordinary abilities, or supernatural effects(such as blur, invisibility, or similar effects). A legendary samurai can choose to spend 2 spirit when using this kiai art; if they do, they treat all creatures they attack as though they were the target of their challenge for the purpose of ignoring miss chances.

To Your Last Breath: As a swift action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit. If they do, they gain a number of temporary hit points equal to their class level + their Charisma modifier for a number of rounds equal to their Charisma modifier. While a legendary samurai possesses temporary hit points from this ability, they ignore the fatigued and exhausted condition (this does not remove the condition, instead suppressing it). A legendary samurai can choose to spend 2 spirit when using this kiai art; if they do, at the beginning of each of their turns, they gain an additional amount of temporary hit points equal to 1/2 their class level; these temporary hit points stack with those granted by spending 1 spirit.

11th Level

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

Regroup: As a standard action, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit. If they do, they gain the effects of a freedom of movement spell for a number of rounds equal to their 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 they would end this movement closer to the legendary samurai. A legendary samurai can choose to spend 2 spirit when using this kiai art; if they do, allies are also under the effect of freedom of movement for 1 round and are instead teleported to a space adjacent to the legendary samurai (or as close as possible if there are not any open squares adjacent to the legendary samurai).

Spirit Charge: As a full round action, a legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit. If they do, they become ethereal and any weapon they wield gains the ghost touch property until the end of their turn, moving 60 feet in a straight line. This movement does not provoke attacks of opportunity, and the legendary samurai can make an attack roll against any creature that they are adjacent to at any point during their movement. The legendary samurai can use any iaijutsu talent with ‘slash’ in the name with each of these attacks, being able to use a different iaijutsu talent for each attack. A legendary samurai can choose to spend 2 spirit when using this kiai art; if they do, they can use this kiai art as a standard action.

15th Level

Duty’s Call, Possession: The duty’s call kiai art can now be used to reroll saves against any magical possession effects such as the magic jar spell. The legendary samurai cannot spend spirit to hold a magical possession effect.

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

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

19th Level

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

Shogun’s Demand: As a standard action, the legendary samurai can spend 3 spirit to impose order on the battlefield. If they do, they create a supernatural field forms in a 60-foot. radius around the legendary samurai 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 = 20 + the legendary samurai’s Charisma modifier) while attempting to cross the boundary allows the subject to move in or out as intended.

Samurai’s Renown (Ex)

At 3rd level, a legendary samurai becomes well known in a specific community in which they gain the benefits of renown. They gain the renown vigilanteUI social talent, treating their legendary samurai level as their vigilante level for this ability. This community can be an entire settlement or portions of a settlement (such as a particular district or neighborhood), depending on the population as allowed by the renown social talent. For the purposes of this class feature, the legendary samurai does not have a vigilante identity and is always considered to be in their social identity.

At 4th level, a legendary samurai’s banner becomes a symbol of inspiration to their allies and companions. As long as the samurai’s banner is clearly visible, all allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against fear and a +1 morale bonus on attack rolls made as part of a charge.

At 9th level, and every five levels thereafter, these bonuses increase by +1. The banner must be at least Small or larger and must be carried or displayed by the samurai to function.

Sheathe Block (Ex)

At 4th level, whenever the legendary samurai makes an iaijutsu strike, if they have a free hand, they can use it to pull out their sheath, gaining a +2 shield bonus against melee attacks until the beginning of their next t u r n .

At the beginning of their next turn, they c a n return their sheath to their hip and sheathe t heir weapon as a free action. At 8th level and every four levels thereafter, this bonus increases by +1.

Dragon Defense (Ex)

At 5th level, as a free action, a legendary samurai can choose to take on a dangerous stance which enhances their spiritual prowess. Whenever they do, they suffer the following effects until the next time they receive damage or the beginning of their next turn, whichever comes first:

  • The next attack made against the legendary samurai targets their touch AC
  • The legendary samurai takes a -10 penalty to Reflex saves The next time the legendary samurai take damage while using this ability, if that damage would activate their warrior’s guard ability, rather than gaining 1 spirit, they instead gain 2 spirit. In addition, as an immediate action, the legendary samurai can make an Intimidate check against the creature that dealt damage to them to demoralize that creature as long as they are aware of that source of the damage, ignoring any immunity to fear it possesses.

Advanced Blade (Ex)

At 6th level, a legendary samurai gains Vital Strike as a bonus feat. At 11th level, they gain Improved Vital Strike. At 16th level, they gain Greater Vital Strike.

Spirit Charge (Ex)

At 7th level, a legendary samurai can spend a move action before making an attack action. If they do, whenever the legendary samurai would gain 1 spirit from their Samurai Strike ability, they instead gain 2 spirit.

Daimyo’s Renown (Ex)

At 8th level, a legendary samurai gains the great renown vigilante talent.

Opportune Slash (Ex)

At 8th level, once per round, a legendary samurai can treat an attack of opportunity as an iaijutsu strike.

Greater Resolve (Ex)

At 9th level, a legendary samurai can spend their spirit to negate some of their most grievous wounds. After a critical hit is confirmed against them, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit 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 legendary samurai uses this ability.

Iaijutsu Mastery (Ex)

At 10th level, whenever a legendary samurai uses a slash iaijutsu talent, they can also apply a cut iaijutsu talent to the attack (such as ranged cut and armor- rending slash). If a talent 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.

Greater Banner (Ex)

At 10th level, a legendary samurai’s banner becomes a rallying call to their allies. All allies within 60 feet receive a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and compulsion spells and effects. In addition, while their banner is displayed, the samurai can spend a swift action to wave the banner through the air, granting all allies within 60 feet an additional saving throw against any one spell or effect that is targeting them. This save is made at the original DC. Spells and effects that do not allow saving throws are unaffected by this ability. An ally cannot benefit from this ability more than once per day.

Shogun’s Renown (Ex)

At 14th level, a legendary samurai gains the incredible renown vigilante talent.

True Spirit Charge (Ex)

At 14th level, a legendary samurai can use their spirit charge ability as a swift action instead of a move action, although they can only use their spirit charge once per round.

True Resolve (Ex)

At 17th level, a legendary samurai can spend spirit to avoid death. If they have at least 2 points of spirit remaining, they can spend all points of spirit that they have available to them as an immediate action to avoid death.

Regardless of the source of the attack that would have killed them, they are left alive, at –1 hit points (or lower if they were already below –1), unconscious, and stable.

Emperor’s Renown (Ex)

At 20th level, the legendary samurai can gain renown in a single community of up to 100,000 people (metropolis) or up to two larger cities of no more than 25,000 individuals each (large city).

Last Stand (Su)

At 20th level, a legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit as a move action to declare a last stand. For one round, the legendary samurai takes minimum damage from all sources, becomes immune to death effects, and does not die from having negative hit points in excess of their Constitution score. In addition, the legendary samurai remains conscious and is not staggered while they are below 0 hit points. At the start of each subsequent turn, the legendary samurai can spend 1 spirit as a free action to extend the last stand for another round.

Once the last stand ends, the legendary gains 1 negative level. The negative level cannot be removed by normal means but heals when the legendary samurai completes an 8-hour rest. If the legendary samurai gains multiple negative levels through last stand, they are all healed by the same 8-hour rest.

Favored Class Bonuses

The following favored class bonuses are open to all characters, regardless of race or ancestry:

  • Add +1/3 on critical hit confirmation rolls made with iaijutsu strikes (maximum bonus of +5). This bonus does not stack with Critical Focus.
  • Gain 1/6 of a new iaijutsu technique.
  • Add +1/4 to the legendary samurai’s banner bonus.
  • Add +1/2 to the legendary samurai’s bonus to damage against targets of the legendary samurai’s challenge.
  • Gain 1/5 of a new social talent granted by warrior’s grace.
  • Gain +1/2 bonus on Intimidate checks to demoralize.

Alternate Class Features

Alternate class features are small, modular archetypes. They swap out a single class feature (or a few related class features) for new abilities. By affecting only small parts of the class at a time, a player is able to build the legendary samurai that best fits their ideas. With these alternate class features, the legendary samurai is more flexible than ever before. If an archetype or alternate class replaces one of the below class features, the replacement class feature may not be exchanged for an alternate class feature. However, some alternative class features explicitly stack with certain archetypes as noted in their entries. Mix and match these alternate class features to build your perfect legendary samurai!

Weapon and Armor Proficiency

The following options alter or replace the legendary samurai’s proficiency in weapons and/or armor.

AC Bonus (Ex)

When unarmored and unencumbered, a legendary samurai adds their Charisma bonus (if any) to their AC and their CMD. In addition, the legendary samurai gains a +1 bonus to AC and CMD at 4th level. This bonus increases by 1 for every four legendary samurai levels thereafter, up to a maximum of +5 at 20th level.

These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks or when the legendary samurai is flat-footed. They lose these bonuses when they are immobilized or helpless, when they wear any armor, when they carry a shield, or when they carry a medium or heavy load.

This ability replaces armor proficiencies.

Armor Proficiencies

The legendary samurai is proficient with light and medium armor as well as all shields (including tower shields).

This ability alters armor proficiencies.

Weapon Proficiencies

The legendary samurai is proficient with all simple weapons, three exotic weapons of their choice, and all one-handed slashing weapons.

This ability alters weapon proficiencies.

Challenge

The following options alter or replace the legendary samurai’s challenge. If the legendary samurai gains ranks in another class with these abilities, those class levels stack for the purpose of advancing those abilities.

Favored Enemy (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary selects a creature type from the ranger favored enemies table. They gain a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against creatures of their selected type. Likewise, they get a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. A legendary samurai may make Knowledge skill checks untrained when attempting to identify these creatures.

At 5th level and every five levels thereafter (10th, 15th, and 20th level), the legendary samurai may select an additional favored enemy. In addition, at each such interval, the bonus against any one favored enemy (including the one just selected, if so desired) increases by +2.

If the legendary samurai chooses humanoids or outsiders as a favored enemy, they must also choose an associated subtype, as indicated on the ranger favored enemies table.

(Note that there are other types of humanoid to choose from— those called out specifically on the table below are merely the most common.) If a specific creature falls into more than one category of favored enemy, the legendary samurai’s bonuses do not stack; they simply use whichever bonus is higher.

This ability replaces challenge.

Studied Target (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai can study an opponent they can see as a move action.

The legendary samurai then gains a +1 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks attempted against that opponent, and a +1 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against it. The DCs of legendary samurai class abilities against that opponent increase by 1. A legendary samurai can only maintain these bonuses against one opponent at a time; these bonuses remain in effect until either the opponent is dead or the legendary samurai studies a new target.

If the legendary samurai gains sneak attack from another source and deals sneak attack damage to a target, they can study that target as an immediate action, allowing them to apply their studied target bonuses against that target (including to the normal weapon damage roll).

At 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, the bonuses on weapon attack rolls, damage rolls, and skill checks and to legendary samurai DCs against a studied target increase by 1. In addition, at each such interval, the legendary samurai is able to maintain these bonuses against an additional studied target at the same time. The legendary samurai may discard this connection to a studied target as a free action, allowing them to study another target in its place.

At 7th level, a legendary samurai can study an opponent as a move or swift action.

This ability replaces challenge.

Weapon Training (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai chooses a one-handed slashing weapon, receiving Weapon Focus as a bonus feat for their chosen weapon. At 2nd level, they receive Weapon Specialization as a bonus feat for their chosen weapon. At 5th level, the legendary samurai gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls for all weapons with their chosen weapon. The bonus improves by +1 for every four levels beyond 5th.

This ability replaces challenge.

Iaijutsu Strike

The following options alter or replace the legendary samurai’s iaijutsu strike or iaijutsu techniques.

Combat Training: A legendary samurai may combine combat spheresSoM and talents to create powerful martial techniques. Legendary samurai are considered Proficient combatants and use Charisma as their practitioner modifier.

This ability replaces iaijutsu strike and iaijutsu techniques.

Samurai’s Finesse (Ex)

At 1st level, a legendary samurai gains Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat. The legendary samurai can use the Weapon Finesse feat with the longspear, naginata, spear, and with all one-handed slashing and piercing weapons with which they are proficient. Additionally, the legendary samurai cannot treat the attack made with iaijutsu strike as though the weapon was wielded in two hands for the purpose of how much damage it deals.

This ability alters iaijutsu strike. This alternative class feature can be combined with either the Yumi Sniper archetype or the Skirmisher’s Strike alternative class feature (but not both), in which case both alterations to iaijutsu strike apply.

Skirmisher’s Strike (Ex)

Instead of drawing and attacking with a one-handed slashing weapon, a legendary samurai performs an iaijutsu strike with any slashing or piercing melee weapon by making the attack action after moving at least 10 feet from the position they occupied at the start of their turn.

This ability alters iaijutsu strike. This alternative class feature can be combined with Samurai’s Finesse, in which case both restrictions to iaijutsu strike apply (moving before attacking and not treating the attack as being wielded in two hands).

Sneak Attack

At 1st level, if a legendary samurai catches an opponent unable to defend itself effectively from their attack, they can strike a vital spot for extra damage. The legendary samurai’s attack deals extra damage anytime their target would be denied a Dexterity bonus to AC (whether the target actually has a Dexterity bonus or not), or when the legendary samurai flanks their target. This additional damage is 1d6 at 1st level, and increases by 1d6 every 4 levels thereafter. Should the legendary samurai score a critical hit with a sneak attack, this additional damage is not multiplied. Ranged attacks can count as sneak attacks only if the target is within 30 feet.

With a weapon that deals nonlethal damage (like a sap, whip, or unarmed strike), a legendary samurai can make a sneak attack that deals nonlethal damage instead of lethal damage. They cannot use a weapon that deals lethal damage to deal nonlethal damage in a sneak attack, not even with the usual –4 penalty.

The legendary samurai must be able to see the target well enough to pick out a vital spot and must be able to reach such a spot. A legendary samurai cannot use sneak attack while striking a creature with concealment.

This ability replaces iaijutsu techniques.

Warrior’s Grace

The following options alter or replace the legendary samurai’s warrior’s grace.

Bardic Performance (Su)

At 2nd level, a legendary samurai gains the bardic performance class feature, treating their legendary samurai level as though it was their bard level for this feature. The legendary samurai does not gain access to the inspire courage, inspire greatness, inspire heroics, or deadly performance bardic performances.

This ability replaces warrior’s grace.

Rogue Talents

At 2nd level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains a rogue talent, treating their legendary samurai level as though it was their rogue level for the purpose of which rogue talents they can select. The legendary samurai cannot select rogue talents which would alter sneak attack unless they already possess the ability. At 10th level, they can also select advanced rogue talents.

This ability replaces warrior’s grace.

Shifter Aspects (Su)

At 2nd level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains a shifter aspect from the shifterUW class, although this ability does not have a duration, instead being permanent until the legendary samurai chooses to end it. At 10th level, they gain the chimeric aspect class feature.

This ability replaces warrior’s grace.

Kiai Arts

The following options alter or replace the legendary samurai’s kiai arts.

Bonus Feats

At 3rd level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains a bonus feat. These bonus feats must be selected from those listed as Combat Feats. A legendary samurai is treated as a fighter of their class level for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for these bonus feats.

This ability replaces kiai arts. This can be combined with the steed lord archetype, in which case the legendary samurai only gains bonus feats at 3rd, 11th, and 19th level.

Elemental Focus (Ex)

At 3rd level, a legendary samurai gains an elemental focus as per the kineticist class feature.

In addition, at 3rd level and every four levels afterwards, a legendary samurai gains a utility wild talent, treating their class level as their kineticist level for the purpose of meeting prerequisites. If a utility wild talent would require them to accept burn to activate, they can instead spend spirit equal to the burn they would have to accept to use that wild talent. A legendary samurai with this alternative class feature is treated as a kineticist of their level for the purpose of selecting the Extra Wild Talent feat.

This ability replaces kiai arts.

Spellcasting

At 3rd level, a legendary samurai learns three orisons from the cleric/oracle spell list or cantrips from the sorcerer/wizard spell list of their choice of their choice. At 4th level, if they selected orisions, they gain the spellcasting of a ranger of their class level. If they selected cantrips, they gain the spellcasting of a bloodragerACG of their class level. In either situation, they use their Charisma to determine if they can cast spells, the DCs of their spells, and how many bonus spells they would receive.

This ability replaces kiai arts.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Legendary Samurai © 2018, Legendary Games; Authors N. Jolly, Siobhan Bjorknas, Adam Ricks, and Wren Rosario