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Monk Archetype Sword Saint Style!!


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Yo all!! ok I want to make a monk that can wield a katana with lightning speed and takes down his opponent super fast to stop suffering and pain. Now i've been struggling with the idea for a while and now we're playing a relatively high level and high stat game so I would like to hash out a new archetype for the Unchained Monk to give it the Sword Saint Iaijutsu strike ability while keeping to the core monk abilities like Wisdom to AC and fast movement.

Monk Sword Saint

Challenge (Ex)
Once per day, a monk can challenge a foe to combat. As a swift action, the samurai chooses one target within sight to challenge. The monk's melee attacks deal extra damage when made against the target of his challenge. This extra damage is equal to the samurai’s level. The samurai 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.

Challenging a foe requires much of the monk’s concentration. The monk takes a –2 penalty to his Armor Class, except against attacks made by the target of his challenge.

The challenge remains in effect until the target is dead or unconscious, or until the combat ends. Each monk’s challenge also includes another effect, which is listed in the section describing the samurai’s order. This ability replaces Stunning fist.

Iaijutsu Strike (Ex)
A sword saint can perform a lightning quick iaijutsu strike against the target of his challenge to inflict devastating wounds while drawing his sword. After the sword saint has challenged a foe but before he has attacked the target of his challenge, he may choose to use his iaijutsu strike as a full-round action, making an attack roll with his weapon as normal. In order to use this ability, the sword saint’s weapon must be sheathed at the start of his turn. If he successfully hits his opponent with an iaijutsu strike, his attack deals an additional +1d6 points of damage. This bonus damage increases by an additional +1d6 at 3rd level and every two levels thereafter to a maximum of +10d6 damage at 19th level. Any extra damage as a result of a successful iaijutsu strike is not multiplied by a critical hit.

After making an iaijutsu strike, a sword saint takes a –4 penalty to his AC until his next turn, but his weapon is now drawn and he may continually to fight normally. Regardless of whether he hits his opponent with the iaijutsu strike, a sword saint cannot use this ability on the same foe more than once per day.

At 10th level, a sword saint learns to focus faster and is able to make an iaijutsu strike as a standard action, and the penalty to his AC is reduced to –2. This ability replaces flurry of blows and unarmed strike.

Order (Ex)
At 1st level, a samurai must pledge himself to a specific order, typically the order of the warrior. The order grants the samurai a number of bonuses, class skills, and special abilities. In addition, each order includes a number of edicts the samurai must follow. If he violates these edicts, he loses the benefits of his order’s challenge ability for 24 hours. The violation of an edict is subject to GM interpretation.

Most samurai belong to the order of the warrior and are dedicated to their lord. Those without a lord, or who chose to abandon their lord, are ronin. A samurai may instead elect to dedicate himself to one of the orders listed under the cavalier description, but such samurai are rare.

A samurai who wishes to change his order must undertake a lengthy process to dedicate himself to a new cause. When this choice is made, he immediately loses all of the benefits from his old order. He must then follow the edicts of his new order for one entire level without gaining any benefits from that order. Once he has accomplished this, he gains all the bonuses from his new order. The only exception to this is when a samurai decides to become a ronin. A samurai can elect to become a ronin immediately, losing all the benefits from his old Classes order and replacing them with the new benefits from the ronin order. Once a ronin, however, the only way for the samurai to change to another order is through the method described above. Note that the names of these orders might vary depending upon the campaign setting or GM’s preference.

The following orders can be chosen by both cavaliers and samurai.

Iaijutsu Finesse (Ex)
At 3rd level, an Monk Sword Saint may use the katana with your Dexterity modifier instead of your Strength modifier on attack rolls. This ability replaces Ki Strike

Slashing Momentum (Ex)
At 5th level, an iaijutsu master may add his Dexterity modifier to his katana damage instead of his Strength modifier.This ability replaces the style strike gained at 5th level.

Brutal Slash (Ex)
At 9th level, a sword saint’s iaijutsu strike becomes even more deadly. If a sword saint threatens a critical hit with his iaijutsu strike, he adds a bonus equal to 1/2 his class level to the attack roll to confirm a critical hit. This ability replaces the style strike gained at 9th level.

Iaijutsu (Ex)
At 13th level, a Monk Sword Saint applies his Wisdom modifier as well as his Dexterity modifier on initiative rolls (minimum 0). This ability replaces the style strike at 13th level.

Swift Slice (Ex)
At 15th level, an iaijutsu master may make an extra attack with his katana as a standard action as part of his iaijutsu strike. This ability replaces the style strike at 15th level.


So is this basically Kenshin Himura? Cause I am all for that


I took class features from a few samurai archetypes and the kensai magus archetypes. So i don't know if they fit well. Do you think it's balanced? The base class is the Unchained Monk so full BAB and s$+* will saves :)

References to the Samurai Sword Saint, Regular Samurai, Samurai Iaijutsu master 3rd party archetype from Frog God games, and the Kensai Magus.

If you could take a look and see if it's balanced that would be great.


I will probably make a NPC of this to challenge my Swordlord player in Kingmaker.
But from just looking at it so far I like it. I will try to check the source material


Thank you.


Okay, so you lose Unarmed Strike/Flurry of Blows, and Ki Strike. These seem perfectly reasonable, but then why do you keep your Ki Pool? Looking at the Unchained Monk your Options to use it require Flurry of Blows or Ki Strike. Yes you can get Ki Powers, but for 1 whole level you have a Ki Pool you cant do anything with.

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I feel like it would have been better just alter the existing cavalier archetype to gain a few monk abilities as this archetype just completely strips out the main monk abilities and replaces them with cavalier abilities. In fact, this archetype breaks many monk class features because you removed improved unarmed strike. All style strikes and many ki powers require unarmed strikes. You also don't give proficiency in katana and the style strike class feature doesn't work at all (I'm not sure why you replaced abilities piecemeal with this). Swift strike also doesn't work because it's' a standard action and you need to use a standard action to use iaijitsu strike.

Some of the abilities given are NOT fair trades either. I feel like you could have just nixed all the "dex-to-damage" stuff and just say that the archetype treats katanas as a finesse weapon.

See my feedback about a related thread.


the fast drawing katana whilder type? the one that uses his speed to hit and damage and not relaying on brute strength?
for that i really liked the 3rd party archtype for swashbuckler Ronin . i find that taking it and making sure you have exotic weapon(katana) and later on slashing grace (katana) make for a real nifty one blade swinging menece. (point tho the so called 'darring do' deed is misnamed should be 'Iaijutsu' and as said it replace kip-up ,if you don't rename it right youll end up with two deeds named darring do .one normal one from archtype).
anyway. here is a link to my 4th level ronin Shoin Ronmiaku (total mayhem).see if you like it
(at 1st level i picked the alt human trait to get 2 exotic weapons instead of the extra feat. picked katana and Tekko-Kagi sinec hte later can be used just like a buckler (and also says it's straped on the arm like a buckler so slahsing grace apply evenly to it)


I was thinking of exchanging the monks ki pool for the ninjas ki pool. That way i don't need to ever worry about my flurry. If you think some abilities are mis placed i can also loose some of my other monk abilities like Tongues under the Sun and Moon or slow fall or stuff like that. All i want is the Wisdom to Ac, the speed bonus, the iaijutsu strike, katana weilding and i don't want to rely on strength at all. So if you think more abilities need to be exchanged then let me know.


I would also like to add that some of the monk ki abilities would be cool but since i am thinking of giving this archetype the ninja's ki, do you think it would be better to give it ninja abilities instead?


Couldn't you also just make a Swashbuckler archetype that is proficient with and can only use their finesse training with Wakizashi, Katana and similar weapons, and cannot wear armor, but gets Wisdom to AC, and some of the Monk's movement speed progression?

Or a Samurai archetype that trades their Mount (and related abilities) and Armor proficiencies for Monk class features?


For some reason that sounds harder and i dislike the swashbuckler. I dislike the whole "HA HA I am an obnoxius douche AND i'm good with a sword" .... thats how i see Panache...

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The swashbuckler is whatever flavor you want it. I've seen some people use the swashbuckler to play a jedi-type character.

I feel like you're trying to cram too much stuff into this concept. Ninja tricks don't really fit at all.

I once built a samurai by making them an unchained rogue wielding a katana. Their iaijitsu was flavored as a special sneak attack

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