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While most men equate the samurai with the katana, the yabusame knows that the true weapon of the samurai is the yumi, or bow. A master of the bow, both on foot and when mounted, the yabusame rains down death on the enemies of his lord, felling them long before ever they get close enough to draw their swords.

The yabusame is an archetype of the samurai class.

Weapon Proficiency

Yabusame are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the katana, naginata, and wakizashi. They are also proficient with light and medium armor, but not with shields or heavy armor.

Far Challenge (Ex)

A yabusame can use issue a far challenge as a swift action, choosing one creature within sight to be the target of the challenge. For the duration of the far challenge, when the yabusame makes a successful ranged attack with a bow against the target of the challenge, he deals extra damage equal to the yabusame’s level. The yabusame can use this ability once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every three levels beyond 1st, to a maximum of seven times per day at 19th level. Beginning at 4th level, once per day, the yabusame may spend an extra use of his far challenge ability to double the potential extra damage of a single ranged attack during a challenge. The use of this extra challenge must be declared before making an attack roll, but if the attack strikes the target of the challenge, he deals twice his samurai level in extra damage instead of just his samurai level in extra damage. If the attack misses, the use of the challenge is wasted.

For the duration of the challenge, the target of the far challenge gains a +4 bonus on attack rolls made against the yabusame. A far challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious, until the target hits the yabusame with a melee attack, or until the combat ends. If a far challenge ends because the target hits the yabusame with a melee attack, the target is considered to be the subject of a standard samurai challenge.

This ability replaces the standard samurai challenge.

Yumi Expertise (Ex)

At 3rd level, the yabusame gains an unparalleled expertise with longbows. Whenever he threatens with a critical hit with a longbow, he gains a +2 bonus on the confirmation roll. In addition, he may take fighter only feats, such as weapon specialization. Any levels he has as a fighter stack with his yabusame levels for the purpose of determining whether the yabusame qualifies for such feats.

This ability replaces weapon expertise.

Accurate Honor Assessment (Ex)

At 3rd level, as a swift action, the yabusame can quickly figure out who has the most Honor within 60 feet. He does not learn the exact amount, just who has the highest. If there is at least one other person within range who has Honor and the yabusame has the highest honor, he gains a +2 Honor bonus to skill checks and ability checks for as long as he is in the presence of these people, or until one hour has passed. The yabusame can only gain this benefit to skill and ability checks once per day.

One with the Yumi (Ex)

At 5th level, as a full-round action, the yabusame can make a single ranged attack with his bow, adding twice his Dexterity modifier (if positive) to the attack roll. This ability can be used in conjunction with the far challenge ability and any feat which applies to a single bow attack. The yabusame cannot make a 5-foot step when using this ability.

This ability replaces banner.

Shi no ya (Ex)

At 6th level, the yabusame is able to focus his energies so that his arrows do more potential damage. So long as the yabusame makes only a single ranged bow attack in a round, foregoing any iterative attacks, he adds his Dexterity modifier (if positive) to his damage and his arrows do double damage. On a critical, his arrows instead do triple damage. At 11th, and then again at 16th level, the damage from his arrows, when using this ability, increases by another step, so that at 16th level, he does x4 damage on a successful hit and his critical hits with a bow do x5 damage. When using this ability, if the attack misses by 5 or less, the arrow still grazes the target, doing the base damage of the weapon, plus the yabusame’s Dexterity modifier in damage. This ability may be used in conjunction with one with the yumi, and any feats which applies to a single bow attack.

This replaces the bonus feat class feature.

Distant Death (Ex)

At 11th level, the yabusame may use his resolve to make incredible shots over great distances. By spending two resolve, as a full round action, the yabusame may make a single ranged attack with a range up to 10 times the range increment of the weapon being used, without suffering any penalties for the range.

This ability replaces honorable stand.

Crippling Challenge (Ex)

At 12th level, when the yabusame hits the target of his challenge, the target suffers a -2 penalty to its AC for a full round.

This ability replaces demanding challenge.

Encouraging Presence (Ex)

At 14th level, the presence and skill of the yabusame is an encouragement to his allies. All allies within 60 feet of the yabusame receive a +1 morale bonus on all ranged attack rolls.

This ability replaces greater banner.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Way of the Samurai Copyright 2012, Steven D. Russell and Michael Tumey, all rights reserved; Author Jonathan McAnulty

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