Bushi are honorable and noble warriors who specialize in Iaijutsu, the art of the draw cut. With a single swing of his katana, a bushi can cleave through armor, bones and organs as easily as straw. Bushi follow the code of bushido and exemplify the virtues of righteousness, courage, benevolence, respect, honesty, honor and loyalty.
The bushi is a class template suitable for use with the stalker, warlord and warder classes. When converting a character to a bushi, the character loses or changes the following class features. A character can still take the bushi class template even if they also have an archetype that alters their maneuvers readied ability, as long as they still have the ability to recover a single maneuver as a standard action to give up:
- The stalker gives up the ability to recover a single maneuver as a standard action.
- The stalker gives up blending and improved blending.
- The stalker gives up the stalker art at 1st level.
- The stalker can choose to take a bushido in place of a stalker art. This alters stalker arts, but does not make the bushi class template incompatible with archetypes that also alter the stalker arts class feature.
- The warlord gives up the ability to recover a single maneuver as a standard action.
- The warlord gives up their first two bonus feats (at 1st and 6th level).
- The warlord gives up the tactical presence, dual presence, and warlord’s presence class features.
- The warder gives up the ability to recover a single maneuver as a standard action.
- The warder gives up their first two bonus feats (at 3rd and 8th level).
- The warder gives up proficiency with heavy armor.
- The warder gives up the clad in steel, steel defense, and born of steel class features.
A bushi trades one of his available disciplines for the Mithral Current discipline, and gains Perform as a class skill. He otherwise learns, readies, initiates maneuvers as a standard member of his base class.
This ability alters maneuvers.
In addition to his normal maneuver recovery, a bushi can recover his maneuvers by sheathing his blade and taking a brief moment of quiet contemplation. When he sheathes a weapon (normally a move action), he recovers one maneuver. He cannot recover more than one maneuver per round this way, no matter how many weapons he sheathes or how many times he sheathes an individual weapon per round, nor can he use a maneuver in the same round it is recovered in this way. A bushi cannot use this ability to recover a maneuver in the same round in which it was initiated.
At 6th level, a bushi gains Mixed Combat as a bonus feat, even if he does not meet the prerequisites. In addition, the bushi is considered to be threatening all adjacent squares even if his weapon is sheathed, and can draw his weapon when making any attack (including attacks of opportunity).
As a bushi grows in power, he gains access to abilities through the refinement of his spirit and his weapon by adhering to the principles of bushido.
- A stalker bushi can choose to take a bushido in place of a stalker art at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th, and 19th levels. This ability does not cause the bushi class template to be incompatible with other archetypes that alter the stalker arts class feature.
- A warlord bushi selects a bushido to gain at 2nd, 5th, 7th, 9th, 11th, and 15th levels.
- A warder bushi selects a bushido to gain at 3rd, 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, and 19th levels.
A bushi gains bushidos from the following list:
Benevolence: The bushi’s kindness and concern for his allies takes on a supernatural quality. The bushi can spend a swift action to grant all allies within 30 feet a number of temporary hit points equal to the bushi’s initiator level. These temporary hit points do not stack with other temporary hit points, and last for one minute or until depleted.
Courage: The bushi becomes immune to non-magical fear effects. In addition, he gains a +4 bonus on saves against fear effects, and can grant this bonus to his allies within 60 feet for a number of rounds equal to his bushi initiation modifier as a swift action.
Honesty: The Universal Truth speaks to the bushi, allowing him to detect falsehood wherever it may hide. The bushi can use discern lies as a spell-like ability with a caster level equal to his initiator level. He can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to his initiation modifier, although these rounds need not be consecutive.
Honor: The bushi knows that honorable combat is the only true test of a warrior, and that the most honorable combat is a one-on-one duel. Whenever the bushi hits a creature with an attack, he gains a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls against that creature until the end of his next turn. This bonus increases by +1 for every four initiator levels the bushi possesses. A bushi does not get an additional benefit from attacking a creature multiple times, although he loses the bonus if he does not attack the creature for one round.
Loyalty: The bushi’s strong sense of loyalty to friends and allies allows him to instinctively know when they are in danger. As a standard action, the bushi can mark an ally, allowing him to know the relative position and general condition of the marked allies as if they were under the effects of both a deathwatch and a status spell. This mark lasts for a number of hours equal to the bushi’s initiator level, and functions as long as both the bushi and the target are on the same plane. The bushi can activate this ability a number of times per day equal to his bushi initiation modifier (minimum 1).
Respect: The bushi respects all life, and knows that the strength of his allies support his own strength. Whenever the bushi uses the aid another action, he uses his bushi initiation modifier (minimum +2) instead the normal aid another bonus granted to his allies.
Righteousness: The bushi knows right from wrong on an inherent, instinctual level. He can gains the ability to use detect chaos, detect evil, detect good, and detect law as spell-like abilities at-will, with a caster level equal to his initiator level.
Path of War – Expanded, © 2016, Dreamscarred Press.