Giving Fighters the "Ninja" treatment (Ki points)


Homebrew and House Rules


I was kinda dissapointed to find that the Samurai was not a Ki Point Fighter like the Ninja was to Rogue, so here's my take on a Ki based Samurai(the goal is to make the tradeoff rougly equal to Rogue->Ninja):

Samurai are proficient with all simple and martial weapons, plus the katana, naginata, and wakizashi. Samurai are proficient with all types of armor (heavy, light, and medium), but not shields.

Lvl1: Trade "Bonus Feat" out for Improved Initiative (Iajutsu!)
Lvl2: Trade "Bravery" out for a Ki Pool:

At 2nd level, a samurai gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the samurai's ki pool is equal to 1/2 his samurai level + his Wisdom modifier.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a samurai can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus, but he can do so only when making a full attack. In addition, a samurai can spend a point of ki to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Finally, a samurai can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 insight bonus on Intimidate checks for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive. If the samurai possesses levels in another class that grants points to a ki pool, samurai levels stack with the levels of that class to determine the total number of ki points in the combined pool, but only one ability score modifier is added to the total. The choice of which score to use is made when the second class ability is gained, and once made, the choice is set. The samurai can now use ki points from this pool to power the abilities of every class she possesses that grants a ki pool.

Is this roughly balanced to what Ninja is to Rogue?

Liberty's Edge

OgreBattle wrote:
Is this roughly balanced to what Ninja is to Rogue?

No. Bravery is one of the least valuable Class Features in the game, while Ki Pool is one of the higher end ones (after spellcasting and flat damage enhancers, anyway), and this is better than Ninja Ki-pool due to being Wisdom based. Evasion is a good class feature and what Ninjas trade away for Ki Pool, while Bravery is nowhere near as good and you're trading it for a better one.

Look at it this way: Would you let a Fighter trade Bravery for Evasion? No? Well, this is worse, because Ki Pool is better than Evasion.

Ninja is already just flat-out better than Rogue, and this has an even greater power gap, at least if you enable some kind of tricks/feats that actually use Ki, which seems like a thematic necessity.

If you want to power Fighters up, that's one thing, but it should probably be universal, not a single overpowered and specifically themed archetype, and comparing this to a standard Fighter is not reasonable.


Drop the +4 insight to intimidate, put something more useful yeah?

Wisdom based pool + Samurai doesn't exactly scream intimidate to me.

Spending a Ki point for the ability to move 5 or 10 ft would be incredibly nice and give the Fighter something he desperately needs.

Also static bonuses are lame. Have the dodge bonus scale. Something like +2 Dodge. This bonus increases by 1 for every 2 Fighter levels you have beyond 2nd.

The Ninja is a direct upgrade for the Rogue, so the Samurai should be too right? =P


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I think this could be a good fix. Have you considered using the bonus feats in exchange for the Ki pool? Maybe the option to trade each feat for the alternate Ki ability a la cart.


Ninjas shouldn't have gotten the "Ninja" Treatment.
Rogues are literally obsolete now.


For what it's worth, I don't really like the idea of giving other classes the ki pool. Let that remain the trick of the monk and ninja.


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Name it the Martial Maneuvers pool, and I imagine you'll get quite a few converts.

I wouldn't focus on damage as much as options. For example:

- Spend a point to gain extra movement
- Spend a point to perform a maneuver you know along with an attack
- Spend a point to perform a maneuver you don't know
- Spend a point to assess the battlefield and better strategize (...no idea what this would actually do, but it sounds good!)


I can see creating a ninja-like ranger replacing spellcasting with ki pool, but I agree with others in this thread that ki pool is a rather major class feature, so if you want to give it to samurai, I imagine replacing Resolve with Ki pool is roughly equivalent, or if you were really talking fighter as in the title of this thread replacing armor training or parts of fighter training. Replacing a minor class feature with ki pool is just not equivalent.

And why would you title a thread about changes to samurai with the word "fighter"?

The Exchange

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Samurai are an amazing class. They have a resolve/challenge resource that is much more interesting than ki.

I don't like giving ki to a fighter, but Ruggs has a fun sounding idea. I would go with something like that.


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Really, the reason Samurai didn't use Shields is when two handing a sword, it was their shield.

So I'd suggest +1 Shield bonus AC when holding a weapon with both hands in exchange for bravery. This increases by +1 every 4 levels like Bravery does.

Give up Armor Training 1 (but not the rest) for Ki Pool.

At 2nd level, a samurai gains a pool of ki points, supernatural energy he can use to accomplish amazing feats. The number of points in the samurai's ki pool is equal to 1/2 his samurai level + his Wisdom modifier. As long as the samurai holds at least 1 Ki point in his pool he gains a +2 circumstance bonus to his will saves.

By spending 1 point from his ki pool, a samurai can make one additional attack at his highest attack bonus, but he can do so only when making a full attack. In addition, a samurai can spend a point of ki to give himself a +4 dodge bonus to AC for 1 round. Finally, a samurai can spend 1 point from his ki pool to give himself a +4 insight bonus on Intimidate checks for 1 round. Each of these powers is activated as a swift action.

The ki pool is replenished each morning after 8 hours of rest or meditation; these hours do not need to be consecutive. If the samurai possesses levels in another class that grants points to a ki pool, samurai levels stack with the levels of that class to determine the total number of ki points in the combined pool, but only one ability score modifier is added to the total. The choice of which score to use is made when the second class ability is gained, and once made, the choice is set. The samurai can now use ki points from this pool to power the abilities of every class she possesses that grants a ki pool.

At 6th, 10th, and every 4 levels thereafter, the samurai gains Martial Maneuvers he can spend ki on in exchange of a bonus feat if he chooses:
Options:
-Spend a point to gain extra movement (5ft per 4 levels) as a swift action
- Spend a point to perform a maneuver you have improved feat along with an attack (in addition gain a +2 CMB bonus to using it)
- Spend a point to perform a maneuver you don't know as if had the improved feat
- May make a Subtle Cut: As a standard action, you can make a weapon attack that also reduces a creature's movement rate. For every 5 points of damage this attack does (after damage reduction), reduce the creature's movement by 5'. This penalty lasts until the damage is healed.
-


gamer-printer wrote:

I can see creating a ninja-like ranger replacing spellcasting with ki pool, but I agree with others in this thread that ki pool is a rather major class feature, so if you want to give it to samurai, I imagine replacing Resolve with Ki pool is roughly equivalent, or if you were really talking fighter as in the title of this thread replacing armor training or parts of fighter training. Replacing a minor class feature with ki pool is just not equivalent.

And why would you title a thread about changes to samurai with the word "fighter"?

It's a bit confusing, but I expected the Samurai to be a Fighter+Ki in the way that Ninja was a Rogue+Ki, so this is based on my idea of what a Fighter+Ki=Samurai would look like.


Perhaps you ought to check out Legendary Games The Way of Ki - using a feat based way to allow all character classes to use Ki powers of some kind, with special attention to monk, ninja and samurai. It might be closer to what you want, with even more options.

I usually plug my own oriental products, but I have no connection to Legendary Games - you ought to check that out.


Personally I think Fighters should not have a Ki mechanic as opposed to a Grit mechanic, much like the Swashbuckler from the ACG playtest.


J-Gal wrote:

Ninjas shouldn't have gotten the "Ninja" Treatment.

Rogues are literally obsolete now.

Rogues were already obsolete, even the Ninja aren't all that great but they're a bit less handicapped.


kyrt-ryder wrote:
J-Gal wrote:

Ninjas shouldn't have gotten the "Ninja" Treatment.

Rogues are literally obsolete now.
Rogues were already obsolete, even the Ninja aren't all that great but they're a bit less handicapped.

lets look at classes that can fill the skill monkey role well enough to where a rogue or ninja won't be missed and have something better to do in combat than they do, even if it isn't martial. this doesn't even break into 3rd party

Ranger*
Bard*
Alchemist*
Inquisitor*
Playtest Investigator*
Playtest Slayer*
a summoner's eidolon*
Witch that isn't a scarred witch doctor
Wizard
Sorcerers with the Sage Bloodline
Playtest Skald*
Playtest Arcanist
Playtest Hunter*

classes marked with an Asterisk (*) can also fight better than a rogue in martial combat and the unmarked ones, have alternatives to combat that make them better than a rogue still.

before you call the investigator weaker in melee combat than a rogue, there is this wonderful ability called studied combat, add +1/2 investigator level+Int Mod to attack rolls, and +investigator level+Int Mod to damage rolls, against primary foe for a round per point of intelligence bonus+1/2 Investigator level in additional rounds, and follows the Hex use Paradigm. the damage also multiplies on a crit, in fact, it's only weaker in melee combat before 5th level when it gets talent taxed. in other words, it's weaker for the first 4 levels because it doesn't have studied combat. the bread and butter power of the class.


I'm with one of the commenters above that Samurai shouldn't use shields. That's just me being a purist, though.

How about they get bonuses for using various Exotic/Asian weapons? Like, a Samurai can use a longsword, greataxe or a warhammer no problem. But if they use a katana, a nodachi or a Tetsubo or the like, then they do a lot better. Like, they add to the damage, or they get crazy accurate, or they get one more attack per round. Something like that.


I feel terrible that I don't know the name of the 'pole-shield' in Japanese, but some samurai did use a device similar to a shield. A kind of short polearm that was used to bat away sword swings while mounted, it could also be used to knock a rider off a horse. I've seen ukiyo-e prints of samurai ahorse and on foot wielding this device. I just don't know what its called.

The Tengu riding the boar print photo just past the beginning of this link is wielding this 'pole-shield' in his hands.

And though nobody would think it, because all the movies tell us otherwise, but shuriken were first wielded by samurai, not ninja, though ninja adopted their use as well.


Oh, I didn't know that, neato. Still, from your description it sounds like a very specific device for horseback, and not a standard shield like we think of them.


While we didn't give samurai access to ki, there's a Rite Publishing product called Way of the Samurai with 4 samurai archetypes, 3 new samurai orders, 2 samurai based PrC, archetypes for samurai based gunslinger, paladin, ranger and wizard. 7 samurai traits, 9 samurai feats, rules for samurai clan design based on the city stat block, a sample samurai clan, town (with map), stated NPCs, and a couple magic items. And all this prefaced on description of Bushido, when seppuku is appropriate, rules on Honor and more.

Although I didn't write it, I developed what each archetype and PrC needed to accomplish to build them, as well as the samurai orders, the fluff requirements for the supplement, and created the 36 included samurai kammon (house crest symbols), and the map for the samurai town. I did do most of the design on the ranger (yojimbo) archetype. Though I'm definitely biased, I think its the best treatise on samurai provided by any edition of D&D OA, L5R, PF and 3PP put together. (And its still on sale for GM's Day, BTW.)


That seems like the danger of a Samurai game: The player messing up, and having to disembowel themselves as a result.


Only if they actually care about honor [Scorpion for life]


There are honorable ways around it (sometimes) based on historical record, and described in that supplement.

Although it was created as a supplement for the Kaidan setting of Japanese horror (PFRPG), its built to used in any D&D/PF oriental game (low and high fantasy). Kaidan is my setting published as an imprint under Rite Publishing. I am an amateur historian with special interest in Japanese history and folklore, plus I'm half-Japanese, so I have special interests in feudal Japanese authenticity.


I know the guys I play with. If I tried to run a Samurai game, or even if I was just playing in one, they would end the Edo period in flames and chaos, and tears.

One of them would walk right up to the Daimyo in his castle and ask if he has any missions, while the dude's entourage all fan themselves and laugh nervously at the lack of bowing, and later they'd try to badger him for more gold after doing whatever he asked them to. If they ever met a Geisha, they'd think she was evil, and be constantly ignoring and bumping into everybody in the street. They would have entire conversations about whether they should trust the Shogun or whether they should kill him, and they'd do it right in front of the Shogun. And at least one of the players would try to constantly become one of those vampires with the detachable head, because "those are cool".

That's about the time when I'd make them all commit seppuku, in real life. And then do it myself.


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Kaidan means 'ghost story'. The emperor, the imperial court, the shogun and his senior officers, and all the daimyo are all powerful undead of one variety or another tied to the realms founding curse. They aren't the undead horde kind of rulers, rather they want to maintain the status quo, keeping them safely in charge - mostly being lawful evil.

I'm sure your players would want to burn it all, but would be a lot tougher than you might think. Some people consider Kaidan a cross between OA and Ravenloft.


I hope there's a bard in the party to sing and dance while while Kyoto burns


kyrt-ryder wrote:
I hope there's a bard in the party to sing and dance while while Kyoto burns

'Nero'hito? :P


gamer-printer wrote:
Kaidan means 'ghost story'. The emperor, the imperial court, the shogun and his senior officers, and all the daimyo are all powerful undead of one variety or another tied to the realms founding curse. They aren't the undead horde kind of rulers, rather they want to maintain the status quo, keeping them safely in charge - mostly being lawful evil.

That's really cool.


The OP mentions "Iajutsu" - I made that a new Ranger combat style for my yojimbo archetype: Cleave, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Vital Strike; add Furious Focus and Improved Vital Strike at 6th; add Deadly Stroke and Improved Critical at 10th.

The yojimbo is both a body guard, and a patrolling samurai officer (samurai as in the social caste, not the PC class.)


Here's the 5 minute brainstorm of how I might do it:

Level 1:
Lose Bonus feat, but choose three exotic weapons and mix up the skill list a bit.

Levels 2, 6, 10, 14, 18:
Bonus Feat, just like normal.

Levels 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17:
Armor Training and Weapon training, just like normal.

Levels 4:
Ki pool, but with a more generic name.

Levels 8, 12, 16:
New class features, not feats, possibly related to "ki".

Levels 19, 20:
Capstones, just like normal.


Ciaran Barnes wrote:
Here's the 5 minute brainstorm of how I might do it: stuff...

I think the OP is really trying to build a ki-based samurai, and not a build for the 'fighter' class. (The thread title confused me too, but the OP stated this is what he really meant.)


I was encouraging building a class that could fulfill the samurai role, but not be setting specific.


Stamina Pool - CON based; Fighter Talents and Advanced Fighter Talents with up to 5 talents at Ciaran Barnes progression (4, 8, 12, 16, 20). Movement, Speed, Initiative, Dodge bonus, Combat Maneuvers...?


Also valid.

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