The meaning of “youxia” is generally accepted to be “wandering force,” referring to an independent and skilled fighter who moves from place to place and uses his martial ability to promote his philosophy and move the world closer to what he considers to be its ideal state. The youxia is often thought to be similar to a knighterrant who patrols the land and seeks out threats to his lord but, unlike the knighterrant, a youxia may be of any social rank (and may promote philosophies few ruling lords would support). While many youxia are knights and lords, they also come from the ranks of peasants, priests, criminals, and scholars.
What unites youxia is their study of and dedication to ancient arts of martial combat, and a belief that such arts are the most powerful tool available to change the world. Youxia are often the products of secret schools of martial study, believing the knowledge and skills they gain come with a responsibility to expand the awareness and influence of the school’s beliefs. Less often, youxia gain their extraordinary powers of focus and inner strength from training passed down through a family line—a single mentor who takes but one student in a lifetime—or even from manuals that illustrate the secrets of ki and concentration.
While the youxia obviously draws heavily from eastern mythology and fiction, there’s no reason this archetype package needs to be restricted to campaign settings with strong eastern influences. Any game that has monks has room for youxia. What’s more, the basic idea of a secret, scholarly method of fighting that grants supernatural powers fits in completely with the tropes of classic western fantasy. The term youxia can easily be switched out for sword saints (taught their fighting techniques by martial angels), black knights (carrying the trappings of chivalry without restricting themselves by it), or sword-mages (who occupy the same social niche as wizards, but intently study the art of combat rather than magic).
At 1st level, the youxia selects one weapon with which he is proficient to be his wushu weapon. The youxia adds 1/2 his youxia level to his CMD when armed with his wushu weapon. Additionally, the youxia is considered to have Improved Unarmed Strike for purpose of qualifying for feats, and may make wushu weapon attacks rather than unarmed attacks when using Gorgon’s Fist, Medusa’s Wrath, Scorpion Style, or Stunning Fist.
At 2nd level, a youxia gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in a youxia’s ki pool is equal to 1/2 his youxia level + his Wisdom modifier. The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive. A youxia who has a ki pool from some other source (such as the monk ki master archetype package) adds his total number of ki points together, and can spend them on any ki abilities he has access to from any source.
As a youxia gains experience, he learns a number of talents that grant him new ways to spend his ki pool. At 2nd level, a youxia gains one ki talent. He gains an additional youxia talent for every 2 levels attained after 2nd level. A youxia cannot select an individual talent more than once.
Dance of Sixteen Fists (Su): As a swift action, the youxia may spend one ki point to create illusionary duplicates that match his movements. This acts as the mirror image spell (using the youxia’s level as his wizard level) except that it creates a maximum number of images equal to 1/2 his youxia level and only lasts for 1 round/level.
Hammer Blow (Ex): As a swift action, after a successful attack roll with his wushu weapon, the youxia may spend one ki point to increase the damage of his attack by +1d6. The extra damage increases to +2d6 at 6th level, +3d6 at 11th level, and +4d6 at 16th level. The youxia may use this ability only once per round.
Healing Chi (Su): The youxia can use his ki power to heal himself or others. He gains the lay on hands ability as if the youxia were a paladin, using his youxia level as his paladin level. The youxia gains mercies as a paladin of the same level. Rather than having access to lay on hands a set number of times per day, the youxia must spend one ki point each time he uses the ability.
Inner Focus (Su): As a swift action, the youxia can spend one ki point to add a +4 bonus to any single skill check the youxia makes. This may be done after the check is made, but the youxia must make this decision before the success of the check is determined.
Iron Shirt (Su): As a swift action, the youxia can spend one point of ki to gain an armor bonus to AC. This bonus is equal to 1/2 the youxia’s level +2 and lasts for one minute. If the youxia is 6th level the bonus lasts for two minutes, and if 16th level it lasts for three minutes.
Ki Blast (Su): The youxia has learned to focus his ki through his wushu weapon to fire a blast of harmful energy. As a standard action, the youxia may spend one ki point to make a single melee attack with his wushu weapon at range. The attack is treated in all ways as a melee attack, except the attack has a range increment of 30 feet.
Ki Stance (Su): As long as the youxia has at least 1 point in his ki pool, he can take a ki stance as a swift action. He may maintain the ki stance as a free action each round. While in a ki stance, the youxia takes no penalties to his speed when using Acrobatics to move on narrow surfaces or Climb to advance up, down, or across a slope, wall, or steep incline.
If the youxia is 8th level or higher, he gains the ability to fly while in a ki stance, as long as he is adjacent to a solid surface that could support his weight. His fly speed is equal to his movement rate, and he must end each turn standing on a surface that supports him, or he falls. If the youxia is 16th level, he can fly as long as he is adjacent to a flat surface (including sheets of paper and the surface of water) or some object that touches the ground (such as the tops of grass stalks) and no longer needs to end his turn standing on a surface.
Ki Strike (Su): As long as the youxia has at least 1 point in his ki pool, his attacks with his wushu weapon may count as ki strikes, allowing the weapon to be treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. If the youxia is 10th level or higher, his ki strike also takes on one element of his alignment (chaotic, evil, good, lawful) for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. (If the youxia’s alignment is true neutral, his ki strikes count as silver for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.)
Meta-Ki (Su): As a swift action, a youxia may spend ki points to apply metamagic feats to a spell as it is being cast. If the youxia is adding a metamagic feat to a spell that another character is casting, he must use a readied action to do so. For every ki point spent, the youxia may add one level of metamagic to the spell without increasing the spell’s effective level. The spell’s effective level prior to spending ki points cannot exceed half the youxia’s level. Casters who prepare spells ahead of time may use this to add metamagic feats to a spell prepared without them. Spontaneous casters may use this ability to add metamagic feats to a spell without increasing its casting time.
No-Shadow Step (Su): As an immediate action, the youxia may spend one ki point whenever he fails a saving throw. The youxia then rerolls the saving throw with the same bonus and must use the second result, even if it is worse than the first.
Strong Wushu (Ex): As long as the youxia has at least one ki point in his ki pool, he may treat any weapon he is proficient with as his wushu weapon.
Archetype packages are sets of class abilities characters may select in place of some of the normal abilities gained from a class.
This book was written with the assumption that every class has at least one archetype package built into it which represents a standard set of powers all members of that class receive (see below for details). It is designed with the premise that one can remove some of the standard abilities of a class and replace them with new options that, while different from what the core rulebook says, have no detrimental effect on the class’s mechanical balance or ability to contribute to an adventuring team.
An obvious example of an existing archetype package can be seen in the cleric, who gets to pick two domains. These are in addition to the cleric’s core abilities (and clerics have a broad range of options even without domains). Even if a player neglected to ever select those domains, the character would be able to perform the cleric’s core function and maintain the same role in a well?built team. However, over 20 levels these domains give the cleric access to nine spell slots, eighteen spells known, four special abilities, and in some cases up to two additional class skills or bonus feats.
In the context of this product, the cleric’s two domains represent a single archetype package—the Domain Servant. That package becomes just one option a cleric can take, with the new archetypes in this volume representing some alternative options. A player who wants to play a cleric that also has an increased level of battle expertise (perhaps as a priest serving a deity of war) gives up the Domain Servant archetype package and selects one of the new martial archetypes described in the following pages.
Below we define the archetype packages already included as part of the heroic base classes presented in this game. To gain a new archetype, a character must forgo one of the archetypes normally granted to his class. While most classes have only one archetype, a few (alchemist, bard, cavalier, inquisitor, paladin, and ranger) have two. Classes with multiple archetypes only need to give up one in order to take a new archetype package.
The alchemist has two archetype packages: Grenadier and Mad Chymist.
Grenadier: The Grenadier package includes all the alchemist’s bomb abilities, throw anything, and the advancement of bomb damage. It also includes the discoveries normally gained at 8th and 14th levels. Without this archetype package, an alchemist never gains or advances the bomb ability.
Mad Chymist: The Mad Chymist package includes the mutagen and persistent mutagen abilities, and the discoveries normally gained at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 18th levels. Without this archetype package, an alchemist never gains or advances the mutagen ability, and is treated as not being an alchemist if a mutagen is consumed.
The barbarian has one archetype package: Berserker.
Berserker: The Berserker archetype includes a barbarian’s rage class ability and all rage powers, including greater rage, indomitable will, tireless rage, and mighty rage. A barbarian that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The bard has two archetype packages: Performer and Spellsinger.
Performer: The Performer archetype grants a bard all the bardic performance class abilities plus the versatile performance and well-versed class abilities. A bard that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Spellsinger: The Spellsinger archetype grants a bard all his spellcasting ability. A bard that gives up this package gains no caster level, has no spells known or spells/ day, and has no access to the bardic spell list.
The cavalier has two archetype packages: Knight and Horseman.
Knight: The Knight archetype package includes 1 use/day of the challenge ability gained at 1st level, 1 use/day gained at 16th level, and the cavalier’s order. A cavalier without this archetype package gains the challenge ability at 4th level, but has 1 fewer uses/day (and beginning at 16th level, 2 fewer uses/day).
The cleric has one archetype package: Domain Servant.
Domain Servant: The Domain Servant archetype grants a cleric two domains, and one spell slot/level for domain spells. A cleric that gives up this package does not receive one additional spell slot per spell level for domain spells, and gives up all domain granted powers and domain spells.
The druid has one archetype package: Beastlord.
Beastlord: The Beastlord archetype grants the druid the spontaneous casting, wild empathy, and wildshape class abilities (including all improvements to wildshape). A druid that gives up this archetype never receives any of these abilities.
The fighter has one archetype package: Battle Master.
Battle Master: The Battle Master archetype grants a fighter the bonus feats gained at 1st, 6th, 12th, and 18th levels, bravery, and weapon training. Additionally, without this archetype package the character cannot take feats whose prerequisites include levels in the fighter class (such as Weapon Specialization).
The inquisitor has two archetype packages: Executioner and Magister.
Magister: The Magister archetype package includes the spells and orisons abilities. An inquisitor without this archetype is not a spellcaster. The inquisitor retains the domain ability, and if a caster level is required for a class ability it is considered to be equal to the inquisitor’s level.
The monk has one archetype package: Ki Master.
Ki Master: The Ki Master archetype grants a monk the flurry of blows, bonus feat gained at 2nd level, ki pool, wholeness of body, abundant step, and empty body class abilities. A monk that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities, has no ki pool, and cannot spend ki points as part of the high jump ability.
The oracle has one archetype package: Mystic.
Mystic: The Mystic archetype package includes the oracle’s mystery plus all the class skills, bonus spells, and revelations it includes. An oracle without this archetype package may choose to have an oracle’s curse or not, as the player prefers. This decision is made at first level, and once made it cannot be changed.
The paladin has two archetype packages: Avenger and Divine Guardian.
Avenger: The Avenger archetype grants a paladin the smite evil, lay on hands, mercy, channel positive energy, and divine bond class abilities. A paladin that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Divine Guardian: The Divine Guardian archetype grants a paladin the detect evil and aura of courage class abilities, plus all of the paladin’s spellcasting ability. A paladin that gives up this package never receives any of those abilities, gains no caster level, has no spells/day, and has no access to the paladin spell list.
The ranger has two archetype packages: Scout and Woodland Spellcaster.
Scout: The Scout archetype grants a ranger the favored enemy, combat style feat, favored terrain, and hunter’s bond class abilities. A ranger that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
Woodland Spellcaster: The Woodlander Spellcaster archetype grants a ranger Spellcraft as a class skill, 2 of the ranger’s 6 skill points per level, the ranger’s wild empathy ability, and all the ranger’s spellcasting ability. A ranger that gives up this package never receives any of those abilities, gets only 4 skill points (plus Int bonus) per level, gains no caster level, has no spells/day, and has no access to the ranger spell list.
The rogue has one archetype package: Sneak.
Sneak: The Sneak archetype grants a rogue the sneak attack dice gained at 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels, as well as the trap sense class ability. A rogue that gives up this package still receives sneak attack dice at 3rd, 7th, 11th, 15th and 19th levels, but never receives the trap sense abilities.
The sorcerer has one archetype package: Heritage.
Heritage: The Heritage archetype grants a sorcerer one bloodline—including the bloodline class skill, bonus spells, bonus feats, bloodline arcana, and bloodline powers. A sorcerer that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities or bonus items.
The summoner has one archetype template: Augmenter.
Augmenter: The Augmenter template includes the summoner’s 1st-level and higher spells (but not his access to cantrips or his special summon monster spell-like ability). A summoner that gives up this package never gains spells of 1st-level and above.
The witch has one archetype package: Hexen.
The wizard has one archetype package: Arcane Master
Arcane Master: The Arcane Master archetype grants a wizard the arcane bond and arcane school class abilities. The wizard does not choose a school (not even the universalist school) to specialize in, and never gains any of the abilities granted for specializing in a school. The wizard also does not need to choose two opposing schools.
The adept godling has one archetype package: Blood of Magic
Blood of Magic: The Blood of Magic archetype grants an adept godling the lineage domain and divine trait class abilities. An adept godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The archon has one archetype package: Riven Lord
The armiger has one archetype package: Rampart
Rampart: An armiger without this archetype package grants only partial soft cover to adjacent allies with the bulwark class ability. He also does not gain an armiger talent at 2nd level, or an advanced armiger talent at 20th level. Without this package the armiger does not gain armored DR at 4th level, and his armored DR is reduced by 1 at all other levels.
The clever godling has one archetype package: Like My Father
Like My Father: The Like My Father archetype grants a clever godling the lineage domain and scion talent class abilities. A clever godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The death mage has one archetype package: Death Master
The dragonrider has one archetype package: Dragon Kith
Dragon Kith: The Dragon Kith archetype grants a dragonrider low-light vision, spells, and darkvision. A dragonrider without the Dragon Kith base archetype package has only two good saving throw advancements, chosen when the package is selected. The other saving throw advances at the same rate as a barbarian’s Reflex save. A dragonrider that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The eldritch godling has one archetype package: Blood of Magic
Blood of Magic: The Blood of Magic archetype grants an eldritch godling the lineage domain and divine trait class abilities. An eldritch godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The magister has one archetype package: Master of Mysticism
Master of Mysticism: The Master of Mysticism archetype grants a magister the mystic bond, mystic talents, and advanced mystic talents class abilities. A magister that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The mighty godling has one archetype package: Like My Father
Like My Father: The Like My Father archetype grants a mighty godling the lineage domain and scion talent class abilities. A mighty godling that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The shadow assassin has one archetype package: Shadow Cunning
Shadow Cunning: The Shadow Cunning archetype grants a shadow assassin the shadow style class ability. A shadow assassin built without this archetype package has only 4 skill points/ level and must choose 4 of the shadow assassin’s normal class skills to not be class skills for the character. A shadow assassin that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The shaman has one archetype package: Spirit Talker
Spirit Talker: The Spirit Talker archetype grants a shaman the spirit companion class ability. A shaman built without this archetype package has only 2 skill points/level and does not have Craft (focus) on its class skill list. A shaman that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The time thief has one archetype package: Temporal Rogue
Temporal Rogue: The Temporal Rogue archetype grants a time thief the temporal talents class ability. A time thief without this package receives half as many motes after all calculations have been made (rounding any fractions down). A time thief that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The vanguard has one archetype package: Battle Mage
Battle Mage: The Battle Mage archetype grants a vanguard the arcane strike, combat casting, bonus feats granted at 4th, 16th, and 19th level, spell block, spell sunder, and spell grapple class abilities. A vanguard that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The war master has one archetype package: Student of Battle
Student of Battle: The Student of Battle archetype grants a war master the war master talents and advanced talents class abilities. A war master built without this archetype package has only 2 skill points/level. A war master that gives up this package never receives any of these abilities.
The witch hunter has one archetype package: Devoted
Now that we know what an archetype package is and how to get one (and at what cost), we can present new archetype options for characters. While the archetypes were often designed with a specific class or set of classes in mind, they are all designed to be as generic as possible. Though only specific types of characters benefit from taking most of these martial archetypes, none are forbidden from doing so. A few archetype packages even have abilities that aid in spellcasting. It is worth noting that the Spellhammer is only of use to characters with at least a modicum of spellcasting ability.
While some of these archetype packages work quite well with characters that primarily use ranged weapons, there is a slight bias in favor of melee weapons in these packages. Players looking for packages designed to cater specifically to characters using bows or other ranged options would do well to look at The Genius Guide to Archer Archetypes, which has 5 ranged-weapon-specific archetype packages. Players looking for packages designed to provide more spellcasting options would do well to look at The Genius Guide to Arcane Archetypes or The Genius Guide to Divine Archetypes.
The Genius Guide To: Martial Archetypes. Copyright 2010, Super Genius Games. Author: Owen K.C. Stephens