Martial Artist (3.5e Class)
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- 1 Martial Artist
Dotted across various cities are some very special combat schools; small, walled cloisters inhabited by a master Martial Artist who teaches students who come to his school to be masters of unarmed combat that are skilled at fighting without weapons or armor. The students of these schools that are headed by good masters move on to serve as protectors of the people, sometimes taking positions in the royal guard roster of a kingdom, where they are ready for battle even when barefoot and dressed in peasant clothes. These Martial Artists can travel unnoticed among the populace, catching bandits, warlords and corrupt nobles unaware. In contrast, the students of these schools that are headed by evil masters tend to rule the surrounding lands through fear, as an evil warlord and his entourage might. Evil Martial Artists make great spies, infiltrators and assassins. A Martial Artist may care passionately about championing the commoners or for the perfection of his art, but very few Martial Artists care much at all about amassing wealth.
Making a Martial Artist
The key feature of a Martial Artist is the ability to fight unarmed and unarmored. Thanks to his rigorous training, he can strike as hard as if he were armed, and he can strike much faster than a warrior with a sword. In most adventuring parties, the martial artist serves as a melee combatant, charging into the fray with enhanced speed while his comrades support him with spells, ranged attacks and other effects.
Abilities: Wisdom powers the Martial Artists special offensive and defensive abilities. Dexterity provides an unarmored Martial Artist with a better defense and with bonuses to some class skills. Strength helps a Martial Artists unarmed combat ability.
Races: Martial arts schools are found primarily among humans, who have incorporated the martial arts into their ever-evolving culture. Thus, many martial artists are humans, and many more are half-orcs or half-elves who live among humans but are always looking for a place where they feel they "fit in", and the martial arts schools, who welcome all to learn in their schools often fill this niche for these wandering and lost half-orcs and half-elves. Elves are capable of single-minded, long-term devotion to an interest, art or discipline and some of them leave the forests to become Martial Artists. The martial arts are alien to dwarf and gnome culture, and halflings typically have too mobile a lifestyle to commit themselves to the time required to train at a school or a monastery, so dwarves, gnomes and halflings very rarely ever become Martial Artists.
Alignment: Any non chaotic.
Starting Gold: 5d4 gp. (12 gp, 5 sp average)
Starting Age: "Complex" or "As wizard"
|Saving Throws||Special|| Flurry of Blows
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Unarmed Strike, Flurry of Blows, Natural Grappler||–1/–1||1d6||+0||+0 ft.|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Uncanny Dodge, Battle Instincts +1||+1/+1||1d6||+1||+0 ft.|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Close Quarters Fighting, Acrobatic Combatant||+3/+3||1d8||+1||+0 ft.|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Ki Strike (Magic), Body Shield||+4/+4||1d8||+1||+10 ft.|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Improved Uncanny Dodge, Flawless Stride||+5/+5||1d8||+2||+10 ft|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Retaliation (Maneuvers), Astonishing Agility +2||+6/+6/+1||1d8||+2||+10 ft.|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Strategic Strike +1, Ki Strike (Aligned)||+7/+7/+2||1d10||+2||+20 ft.|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Cat-like Reflexes, Improved Flanking||+8/+8/+3||1d10||+3||+20 ft.|
|9th||+9/+4||+6||+6||+3||Defensive Roll, Battle Instincts +2||+9/+9/+4||1d10||+3||+20 ft.|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||Blindsense 30 ft., Ki Strike (Adamantine)||+10/+10/+10/+5||1d10||+3||+30 ft.|
|11th||+11/+6/+1||+7||+7||+3||Retaliation (Throw), Strategic Strike +2||+11/+11/+11/+6/+1||2d6||+4||+30 ft.|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+3||Leg Sweep, Astonishing Agility +4||+12/+12/+12/+7/+2||2d6||+4||+30 ft.|
|13th||+13/+8/+3||+8||+8||+4||Ki Strike (Trans-dimensional), Natural Agility||+13/+13/+13/+8/+3||2d6||+4||+40 ft.|
|14th||+14/+9/+4||+9||+9||+4||Whirlwind Kick||+14/+14/+14/+9/+4||2d6||+5||+40 ft.|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+4||Forceful Strike||+15/+15/+15/+10/+5||2d8||+5||+40 ft.|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+10||+5||Retaliation (Redirect)||+16/+16/+16/+11/+6/+1||2d8||+5||+50 ft.|
|17th||+17/+12/+7/+2||+10||+10||+5||Timeless Body||+17/+17/+17/+12/+7/+2||2d8||+6||+50 ft.|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+5||Quivering Palm, Astonishing Agility +6||+18/+18/+18/+13/+8/+3||2d8||+6||+50 ft.|
|19th||+19/+14/+9/+4||+11||+11||+6||Battle Instincts +3||+19/+19/+19/+14/+9/+4||2d10||+6||+60 ft.|
|20th||+20/+15/+10/+5||+12||+12||+6||Mongoose-like Reflexes, Blindsight 30 ft.||+20/+20/+20/+15/+10/+5||2d10||+7||+60 ft.|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Martial Artist.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Martial Artists are proficient with bolas, club, crossbow (light or heavy), dagger, handaxe, hand crossbow, javelin, kama, katana (masterwork bastard sword), nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, short sword, shuriken, siangham, and sling.
Martial Artists are not proficient with any armor or shields.
AC Bonus (Ex): A Martial Artist is far better than their Monk cousins at defending themselves. When unarmored and unencumbered, the Martial Artist adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC. In addition, a Martial Artist gains a +1 bonus to AC at 2nd level. This bonus increases by 1 for every three Martial Artist levels thereafter (+2 at 5th, +3 at 8th, +4 at 11th, +5 at 14th, +6 at 17th level and +7 at 20th level).
These bonuses to AC apply even against touch attacks (including incorporeal touch attacks) or when the Martial Artist is flat-footed. He loses these bonuses when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears any armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.
Fast Movement (Ex): A Martial Artist dedicates more time to learning his Martial Arts skills more than training his speed and mobility, unlike a Monk who balances the two. As such, a Martial Artist gains improvements to unarmed strike damage a level earlier than their Monk counterparts, but gains bonuses to unarmored speed a level later than a Monk. At 4th level, a Martial Artist gains an enhancement bonus to his speed, as shown on Table: The Martial Artist. A Martial Artist in armor or carrying a medium or heavy load loses this extra speed.
Unarmed Strike: At 1st level, a Martial Artist gains Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat. A Martial Artist’s attacks may be with either fist interchangeably or even from elbows, knees, and feet. This means that a Martial Artist may even make unarmed strikes with his hands full. There is no such thing as an off-hand attack for a Martial Artist striking unarmed. A Martial Artist may thus apply his full Strength bonus on damage rolls for all his unarmed strikes.
Usually a Martial Artist’s unarmed strikes deal lethal damage, but he can choose to deal nonlethal damage instead with no penalty on his attack roll. He has the same choice to deal lethal or nonlethal damage while grappling.
A Martial Artist’s unarmed strike is treated both as a manufactured weapon and a natural weapon for the purpose of spells and effects that enhance or improve either manufactured weapons or natural weapons.
A Martial Artist also deals more damage with his unarmed strikes than a normal person would, as shown on Table: The Martial Artist. The unarmed damage on the above table is for Medium Martial Artists. A Small Martial Artist deals less damage than the amount given there with his unarmed attacks, while a Large Martial Artist deals more damage; see the following table.
Flurry of Blows (Ex): As a standard action, when unarmored, a Martial Artist may strike with a flurry of blows at the expense of accuracy. When doing so, he may make one extra attack in a round at his highest base attack bonus, but this attack takes a –2 penalty, as does each other attack made that round. The resulting modified base attack bonuses are shown in the Flurry of Blows Attack Bonus column on Table: The Martial Artist. This penalty applies for 1 round, so it also affects attacks of opportunity the Martial Artist might make before his next action. When a Martial Artist reaches 5th level, the penalty lessens to –1, and at 9th level it disappears.
When using flurry of blows, a Martial Artist may attack only with unarmed strikes or with special Martial Artist weapons (kama, katana, nunchaku, quarterstaff, sai, short sword, shuriken, and siangham). He may attack with unarmed strikes and special Martial Artist weapons interchangeably as desired. When using weapons as part of a flurry of blows, a Martial Artist applies his Strength bonus (not Str bonus × 1-1/2 or ×1/2) to his damage rolls for all successful attacks, whether he wields a weapon in one or both hands. The Martial Artist can’t use any weapon other than a special Martial Artist weapon as part of a flurry of blows.
In the case of the quarterstaff, each end counts as a separate weapon for the purpose of using the flurry of blows ability. Even though the quarterstaff requires two hands to use, a Martial Artist may still intersperse unarmed strikes with quarterstaff strikes, assuming that he has enough attacks in his flurry of blows routine to do so.
When a Martial Artist reaches 10th level, his flurry of blows ability improves. In addition to the standard single extra attack he gets from flurry of blows, he gets a second extra attack at his full base attack bonus.
Natural Grappler: (Ex): A Martial Artist is trained from day one how to grapple with other students, and is constantly having to engage his enemies in rough house grapples, and as such, all Martial Artists are expert grapplers. At 1st level, a Martial Artist gains Improved Grapple as a bonus feat, granting him an additional +4 competence bonus on all grapple checks and allowing him to initiate a grapple without provoking an attack of opportunity when attempting a grapple. In addition a Martial Artist also adds his dexterity and strength modifiers (if positive) to all grapple checks. A Martial Artist can also initiate a grapple as a free action after a successful unarmed melee attack.
Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 2nd level, a Martial Artist retains his Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) even if he is caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker. However, he still loses his Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. If a Martial Artist already has uncanny dodge from a different class, he automatically gains improved uncanny dodge (see below) instead.
Battle Instincts: (Ex): A Martial Artist has excellent natural instincts when it comes to his movements in battle and gains a +4 bonus on critical strike confirmation rolls. Also starting at 2nd level a Martial Artist gains a +1 competence bonus on his AC and initiative checks. This bonus increases to +2 at 9th level and an additional +1 every 10 levels there after.
Close Quarters Combat (Ex): At 3rd level, a Martial Artist gains Close Quarters Combat as a bonus feat. Close Quarters Combat can be found on page 97 of the Complete Warrior. A Martial Artist gains an attack of opportunity whenever an enemy attempts to grapple him, even if the enemy has a feat or ability that would normally bypass the attack. If the Martial Artist deals any damage with this attack, the enemy fails to start the grapple unless it has the Improved Grapple feat, or a special ability such as improved grab. If the enemy has such an ability, the Martial Artist may add the damage he dealt as a bonus on his opposed check to resist being grappled. This feat does not give the Martial Artist extra attacks of opportunity during a round or allow him to make an attack of opportunity when he would be denied one for being surprised, helpless, or in a similar situation.
For example, an ogre attempts to start a grapple with Holden. Holden gains an attack of opportunity, hits and causes damage. Since the ogre does not have any sort of grappling special ability or feat, it fails to start a grapple. Then an ankheg--a creature with the improved grab special ability--attempts to grapple Holden. He takes an attack of opportunity, hits and deals 10 points of damage to the creature. Holden then adds +10 to his opposed check to resist being grappled.
Acrobatic Combatant (Ex): The Martial Artist is an amazingly agile fighter who moves fluidly from one movement to the next. This blend of agility and speed lends itself in several way to the Martial Artist. A Martial Artist of third level gains the Combat Reflexes feat as a bonus feat. If any effect causes a Martial Artist to fall prone, he may attempt an immediate DC 20 balance check to remain on his feet dispite the effect. If a Martial Artist does ever end up prone, opponents gain no extra bonuses to attacks for the Martial Artist being prone, and during his turn, a Martial Artist may either "kip up" from a prone position as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity or attempt one attack roll at his highest base attack bonus against a target within 5 feet, if successful the Martial Artist may regain his feet immediately as a free action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity. If this attack roll fails the Martial Artist remains prone. Also, whenever a Martial Artist is fighting defensively, his dodge bonus improves to one half his class level rounded down, until his next turn, although he still takes the -4 penalty to all attacks. Any time the Martial Artist takes a total defense action, the Martial Artist's dodge bonus improves to be equal to his class level until his next turn.
Ki Strike (Su): At 4th level, a Martial Artist’s unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. His unarmed attacks are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. Ki strike improves with the character’s Martial Artist level. At 7th level, his unarmed attacks are also treated as lawful weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction. At 10th level, his unarmed attacks are treated as adamantine weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction and bypassing hardness, and finally at 13th level a Martial Artists attacks are treated as ghost-touch weapons for the purpose of striking incorporeal creatures. In addition, he can interact with and destroy force objects such as a resilient sphere or wall of force. Such objects have a hardness equal to its caster level, and 3 hp per caster level. The break DC is 10 + caster level.
Body Shield (Ex): A Martial Artist of 4th level and higher is able to subdue a grappled opponent of the same size as a swift action, and use them gain cover and concealment from some attacks. To do this, a Martial Artist must make a successful grapple attempt. If he succeeds, he may hold his opponent infront of him until the start of his next turn, granting him a +4 AC bonus for cover. Any opponent attempting to strike the Martial Artist--on each attack--must first succeed on a concealment roll with an 80% chance to instead hit the grappled creature because of concealment. The grappled creature is considered bound and flat footed against the attack. If the attacker succeeds at the concealment roll, they still take a -4 penalty to all attack rolls against the Martial Artist.
Opponents that are 1 size category smaller than the Martial Artist only grant him a +2 bonus to AC and opponents only have a 20% chance to hit the grappled creature instead, and take a -2 penalty to attack rolls. Opponents that are 1 size category larger than the Martial Artist grant the Martial Artist a +6 AC bonus, and anyone attempting to strike the Martial Artist has a 95% chance to strike the grappled creature instead, and a -6 penalty to all attack rolls. Body Shield does not work on any creature whos size category is 2 or more size categories away from the Martial Artist's own size.
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): At 5th level and higher, a Martial Artist can no longer be flanked, and opponents gain no benefit from doing so. This defense denies a rogue the ability to sneak attack the Martial Artist by flanking him, unless the attacker has at least four more rogue levels than the target has Martial Artist levels. If a character already has uncanny dodge (see above) from a second class, the character automatically gains improved uncanny dodge instead, and the levels from the classes that grant uncanny dodge stack to determine the minimum level a rogue must be to flank the character.
Flawless Stride (Ex): Starting at 5th level, a Martial Artist can move through any sort of terrain that slows movement (such as undergrowth, rubble, overgrown areas, natural thorns, briars and similar terrain) at his normal movement speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. This ability also allows him to run and charge in situations where others cannot. He may charge, or run over difficult terrain that normally slows movement or allies or neutral characters blocking his path. This ability enables him to run down steep stairs, leap down from a balcony, and tumble over tables to get to his destination. Depending on the circumstances, he still may need to make appropriate checks (Jump and Tumble, in particular) to successfully move over the terrain. This ability does not let him move more quickly through terrains that are enchanted or have been magically manipulated to impede movement. A Martial Artist loses this ability when wearing heavy armor, or carrying a heavy load.
Retaliation (Maneuvers): (Ex): A Martial Artist is an expert at controlling the battle field and taking advantage of any opening to put his opponents at a disadvantage. At 6th level a Martial Artist gains Improved Disarm and Improved Trip as bonus feats, even if they do not meet the prerequisites. Any time an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity against a Martial Artist, a Martial Artist may choose to instead make a free disarm or trip attack in place of one of his normal attacks of opportunity for the round. In addition, any opponent who misses any attack on the Martial Artist by 6 or more provokes an immediate attack of opportunity from the Martial Artist which can only be used to make either a disarm or trip attempt, these attempts count against a Martial Artist's allowed attacks of opportunity in a round. These abilities can also be used while a Martial Artist is taking a defensive or total defense action.
Astonishing Agility (Ex): A Martial Arist is trained to be excellent at balancing, jumping and tumbling. They are trained to jump and tumble over ordinary every day obstacles like fences, carts, short walls, etc. A Martial Artist gains a +2 Bonus on all Balance, Jump and Tumble checks. This bonus continues to increase to +4 at 12th level and +6 at 18th level. In addition, a Martial Artist may choose to use his Dexterity modifier instead of his Strength modifier on all Climb or Jump checks.
Strategic Strike (Ex): Studying more on striking than a traditional Monk, and using advanced knowledge of anatomy, pressure points and soft spots on various creatures, a Martial Artist is better able to make an excruciating attack against his opponent. At 7th level a Martial Artist permanently increases his natural threat range with unarmed strikes by 1, making his natural threat range with unarmed strikes 19-20 X2. At 11th level, he permanently increases his natural threat range with unarmed strikes by an additional 1 making his natural threat range 18-20 X2. This benefit stacks with the Improved Critical (Unarmed) feat, giving an 11th level Martial Artist with Improved Critical (Unarmed) feat a threat range of 15-20 X2. As well, starting at 7th level, a Martial Artist may use various fighting stances to change the type of damage he deals with unarmed strikes. As a swift action during his turn, a Martial Artist may choose a damage type out of bludgeoning, piercing or slashing damage. Once he makes this choice his unarmed strikes continue to deal the chosen damage type until he uses another swift action to change it. A Martial Artist may also change types freely while not in combat.
Cat-like Reflexes (Ex): A Martial Artist of 8th level has near super-human reflexes gaining a +2 bonus to Reflex saves and may now benefit from twice his Dexterity modifier for the purposes of determining how many attacks of opportunity he may make in a round.
Improved Flanking (Ex): A Martial Artist of 8th level or higher, who is flanking an opponent gains a +2 bonus on attacks while flanking an opponent, giving a Martial Artist a +4 bonus instead of a +2 bonus on attacks while flanking. This bonus stacks with any other similarly granted bonuses on flanking attacks. Other characters flanking with the Martial Artist do not gain this increased bonus without a similar ability of their own.
Defensive Roll (Ex): The Martial Artist can roll with a potentially lethal blow to take less damage from it than he otherwise would. Once per day, when he would be reduced to 0 or fewer hit points by damage in combat (from a weapon or other blow, not a spell or special ability), the Martial Artist can attempt to roll with the damage. To use this ability, the Martial Artist must attempt a Reflex saving throw (DC=damage dealt). If the save succeeds, he takes only half damage from the blow; if it fails, he takes full damage. He must be aware of the attack and able to react to it in order to execute his defensive roll—if he is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC, he can’t use this ability. Since this effect would not normally allow a character to make a Reflex save for half damage, the evasion ability does not apply with defensive roll.
Blindsense: (Ex): A Martial Artist of 10th level gains Blindsense out to 30 feet. Using nonvisual ques such as acute smell or hearing, a Martial Artist notices things it cannot see. A Martial Artist does not need to make Spot or Listen checks to pinpoint the location of a creature within range of his Blindsense ability, provided that the Martial Artist has line of effect to that creature. Any opponent the Martial Artist cannot see still has total concealment against him, and the Martial Artist still has the normal miss chance when attacking foes that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of the Martial Artist, and a Martial Artist is still denied his Dexterity bonus to Armor Class against attacks from creatures it cannot see.
Retaliation (Throw): (Ex): Any time an opponent misses any attack against a Martial Artist by 8 or more, and a Martial Artist chooses to use an attack of opportunity to make a trip attack against his opponent, if successful, the Martial Artist may instead throw his opponent in any direction he desires, including behind him, or back in the direction the attacker was coming from. A thrown opponent flies 10 feet landing prone. If an obstacle or another character is in the thrown characters path, the stationary character must make a Reflex save (DC = 10 + 1/2 the Martial Artists class level + the Martial Artists Dexterity modifier) or both characters take 1d6 damage, the stationary character is immediately knocked prone in the square he was standing in, and the thrown opponent lands prone in a random, open, adjacent square chosen by the DM. This throw maneuver can also be used against grappled opponents as a standard action after an opposed grapple check. This ability can also be used while a Martial Artist is taking a defensive or total defense action.
Leg Sweep (Ex): As a full attack action, in lieu of his regular attacks for the round, a Martial Artist can attempt a trip attack at his highest base attack bonus against every opponent within 5 feet of him. Each successful trip against a hostile creature that is within 1 size catagory of the Martial Artist, takes 1d4 damage and falls prone and this grants the Martial Artist a cumulative +2 bonus on his next trip attack this round, but a failed trip attempt ends the Martial Artists action for the round. A Martial Artist cannot move from his current space while preforming a Leg Sweep, even if a feat or other ability would normally allow the Martial Artist to make a movement during an attack action.
Natural Agility (Ex): Balancing, Jumping and Tumbling come so naturally to a Martial Artist, that they make always take 10 on all Balance, Jump and Tumble checks, even when stress or other distractions would normally prevent them from doing so. In addition if a Martial Artist gets a running start of at least 10 feet (5 feet if they have the run feat), they may make a climb or tumble check (Martial Artists choice) and can run up a flat smooth surface. He can cover 5 feet of vertical surface for every 10 he makes on his check. 5 feet for 10, 10 feet for 20, 15 feet for 30, etc.
Whirlwind Kick (Ex): As a full attack action, in lieu of his regular attacks for the round, a Martial Artist can do a vicious and fast spinning kick, making 1 full rotation for each attack he is entitled to for the round, striking against each opponent within 5 feet of him with a -4 penalty. For example, an 14th level Martial Artist has a base attack bonus of +14/+9/+4. If he does a Whirlwind Kick, he will make 3 total spinning attacks, the first one at +10 attack bonus, and beginning with the opponent that was straight ahead the Martial Artist when he started his action, and he then rolls a new attack roll against each target within 5 feet. Afterwards he makes another attack roll against each opponent, this time with a +5 bonus on the attacks, and finally he would make one final attack against all enemies still standing and within range with a +0 bonus on the attacks. Whirlwind kick may not be used in conjunction with Flurry of Blows.
Forceful Strike (Ex): Through training for increased strength and the toughening of his skin from years of practicing his strikes against various harder surfaces such as wood, stone, and metal, a Martial Artist is capable of striking an opponent harder than usual without harming themselves when they make a critical strike. A 15th level Martial Artist permanently increases his critical multiplier with unarmed strikes to X3. A 15th level Martial Artist with Improved Critical (Unarmed) feat has a threat range of 15-20 X3
Retaliation (Redirect): (Ex): At 16th level, any time a Martial Artist is flanked, even if the two opponents are not directly across from one another, and either opponent misses an attack against the Martial Artist by 10 or more, the Martial Artist can line his body up, and swerve his body at the last second to get out of the way of the attack, revealing the opponents ally on the other side. The attack roll is then resolved as though the opponents ally was the intended target and was flat footed for the attack. A Martial Artist can do this as often as he is flanked and any opponent misses an attack by 10 or more, even on multiple attacks from the same opponent in the same round. Doing so does not count against the Martial Artists allowed attacks of opportunity in a round. This ability can also be used while a Martial Artist is taking a defensive or total defense action.
Timeless Body (Ex): Upon attaining 17th level, a Martial Artist no longer takes penalties to his ability scores for aging and cannot be magically aged. Any such penalties that he has already taken, however, remain in place. Bonuses still accrue, and the Martial Artist still dies of old age when his time is up.
Quivering Palm (Su): Starting at 18th level, a Martial Artist can set up vibrations within the body of another creature that can thereafter be fatal if the Martial Artist so desires. He can use this quivering palm attack once a week, and he must announce his intent before making his attack roll. Constructs, oozes, plants, undead creatures, and creatures immune to critical hits cannot be affected. Otherwise, if the Martial Artist strikes successfully and the target takes damage from the blow, the quivering palm attack succeeds. Thereafter the Martial Artist can try to slay the victim at any later time, as long as the attempt is made within a number of days equal to his Martial Artist level. To make such an attempt, the Martial Artist merely wills the target to die (a free action), and unless the target makes a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the Martial Artist’s level + the Martial Artist’s Wisdom modifier), it dies. If the saving throw is successful, the target is no longer in danger from that particular quivering palm attack, but it may still be affected by another one at a later time.
Mongoose-like Reflexes: (Ex): As fast as the reflexes of a cat are, a Mongoose is the only animal on earth with the consistant ability to react to and successfully evade a snake's bite at close range. At 20th level and above, a Martial Artist's reflexes have grown to rival that of a mongoose. The Martial Artist gains an additional +2 bonus on Reflex saves for a total +4 bonus, and any time that a Martial Artist uses one of his attacks of opportunity to make a disarm, trip or throw attempt, that action does not count against one of his alotted attacks of opportunity for the round.
Blindsight: (Ex): A Martial Artist of 20th level is so aware and in-tune with his surroundings that nothing escapes his notice, and gains Blindsight 30 feet. This ability is similar to blindsense, but is far more discerning. Using nonvisual sense such as sensitivity to vibrations, keen smell, acute hearing or echolocation, a Martial Artist maneuvers and fights as well as a sighted creature. Invisibility, darkness and most kinds of concealment are irrelevant, though the Martial Artist must have line of effect to a creature or object to discern that creature or object. The Martial Artist does not have to make Spot or Listen checks to notice creatures within range of his blindsight ability. A Martial Artists blindsight is continuous and he need do nothing to use it.
Unlike a monk, a Martial Artist does not face any special restrictions for later changing alignment or classes and can multiclass freely into and out of the Martial Artist class.
Half-Orc Martial Artist Starting Package
Weapons: Quarterstaff and Sai.
Skill Selection: Pick a number of skills equal to 4 + Int modifier.
Feat: Combat Reflexes
Gear: Backpack, 2 Torches, 1 Tent, 1 Bedroll, 1 Grappling Hook, 50ft of Hempen Rope, Waterskin, 2 trail rations.
Epic Martial Artist
|21st||+7||+70 ft.||Epic Bonus Feat|
|22nd||+7||+70 ft.||Epic Ki Strike|
|24th||+8||+80 ft.||Epic Bonus Feat|
|25th||+8||+80 ft.||Blindsight 60 ft.|
|27th||+9||+90 ft.||Epic Bonus Feat|
|29th||+9||+90 ft.||Battle Instincts +4|
|30th||+10||+100 ft.||Improved Forceful Strike, Epic Bonus Feat|
Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Handle Animal (Cha), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (Int), Listen (Wis) Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), Swim (Str), Tumble (Dex)
AC Bonus: The Martial Artist’s bonus to Armor Class when unarmored increases by +1 every five levels higher than 20th.
Unarmed Strike: The damage for a Martial Artist’s unarmed strike does not increase after 20th level.
Fast Movement: The epic Martial Artist’s speed when wearing no armor increases by 10 feet every three levels higher than 19th. The unarmored speed of Small and dwarven Martial Artists increases by 5 feet instead of 10 feet.
Epic Ki Strike (Su): At 22nd level, the Martial Artists unarmed attacks are treated as epic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction.
Blindsense 60 ft.: (Ex): At 25th level a Martial Artists Blindsense ability increases out to a radius of 60 feet.
Battle Instincts +4: (Ex): At 29th level a Martial Artists bonus on AC and Inniative increases to +4
Improved Forceful Strike: (Ex): At 30th level a Martial Artists kicks and punches are stronger than he could have ever previously imagined. A Martial Artists critical strike multiplier permanently increases to X4.
Playing a Martial Artist
Religion: Unlike Monks who practice Asceticism, which is described as a lifestyle characterized by abstinence from various worldly pleasures, often with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals as an aid in the pursuit of physical and metaphysical health, Martial Artists feel no such need to restrict their worldly possessions in order to master their art. Martial Artists are taught respect in the highest order. Martial Artists tend to bow out of respect when meeting new people. greeting their teachers, and to opponents that they have respect for. Martial Artists tend to worship deities of war, strength, and who promote self-enlightenment and perfection. Such as deities could include Heironeous, Hextor or Kord.
Other Classes: Martial Artists may sometimes appear to be aloof or somewhat distant to their allies, but this stems from the fact that they generally have neither the motivation nor skills in common to find mutual interests or common ground with members of other classes. Martial Artists do, however, work well with the support of others, and they usually prove themselves to be valuable and reliable companions who will always have the backs of their allies.
Combat: By and far a Martial Artists best roll in combat is as a very capable, front line, lead fighter. With their toughness in their good hit points, and their incredible mobility and evasiveness making them a difficult target to take down in combat, Martial Artists can hold their own on the front lines, using their training to disarm, trip, mass trip, and even throw opponents into each other, all while dishing out incredible amounts of damage with their flurry of blows and whirlwind kick abilities. A high level Martial Artist shines while being out numbered and flanked in combat.
Advancement: Martial Artists who decide to pursue other courses of training and advancement, tend to choose paths that are popular with their Monk counterparts. Also, since Martial Artists don’t face the same stigmas and shunning of their peers for pursuing other interests, it is far more common to find Martial Artists with various skill sets than you would a Monk. Many Martial Artists have training as Fighter's to train in a specific technique or combat style, while on rare occasion, some Martial Artists have picked up a few arcane tricks to accompany their martial prowess.
Martial Artists in the World
|“||"Those who are skilled in combat do not become angered, those who are skilled at winning do not become afraid. Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win."||”|
|—O Sensei Ueshiba, Human Martial Artist|
Notables: Holden Price is a human Martial Artist who joined the army of a great and massive kingdom. He went to war for the king and was a crucial factor in the biggest battle of the war, as he blurred across the battlefield disarming and crippling opponents around him in waves. Holden would retire to the service of the king's army a short time thereafter as a trainer, teaching the king's soldiers the art of self-defense and creating one of the greatest armies of unarmed combatants the world had ever seen.
Organizations: Sometimes, large amounts of Martial Artists are trained at a single school and on occasion several schools get together and have combat tournaments, where the students of each temple can compete with only one school taking home the honored distinction of having the best student.
Martial Artist Lore
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (History) can research Martial Artists to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||Martial Artists are like monks, but they forsake the pursuit of perfection to become skilled combatants, worried only about their skill in combat, they far surpass a monk in direct combat.|
|10||A Martial Artists training focuses on neutralizing threats, through advanced training in how to take advantage of every slight opening in order to disarm his opponents of their weapons, trip them, take them to the ground, and even take advantage of their own momentum to launch them into the air.|
|15||Another large part of a Martial Artists training is in how to deal with multiple attackers at one time. A Martial Artist is able to efficiently react to opponents on all sides of him, and even use one opponent as a shield to take incoming attacks from other opponents. A Martial Artists can take multiple opponents to the ground with a single trip attack, able to attack many opponents around him with a series of brutal spinning kicks. Master Martial Artists can even redirect an opponents attack to an ally across from them.|
|20||Master Martial Artists are impossible to sneak up on, seeming to sense others around them without seeing them, and seem ageless, able to move around at the end of their life as well as they did when they were younger. Master Martial Artists are also able to strike incorporeal creatures and ghosts with their fists as readily as they can strike another person. They can also strike a person and make the die by sheer will of force at a later date.|
Martial Artists in the Game
Sample Encounter: in one of the larger, lawful good cities in your campaign, Holden is a trainer for the kings army, he teaches hand to hand combat in the castle courtyard every afternoon. Depending what the PC's are up to, they could encounter Holden in a variety of ways: They may have good favor with the king and he may offer the fighters of the group to train with Holden, after they put in X amount of hours of training with Holden perhaps you could give them a chunk of experience, or maybe bump them up to the next level they may be close to, or if the PC's are into subterfuge and sneaking around the castle for a hidden agenda, perhaps Holden catches them in a castle corridor they shouldn’t be in and approaches them to question them. Alternatively they might cause a disruption in the town square or local town area, which causes a commotion and Holden could be near by and come over to deal with it, being closer to the disruption than any town guards.
Note: If you do decide to put the PC's in an opposing situation to Holden, be aware that he has a very high damage output potential, so be sure that your PC's can be ready for it, or that maybe you have someone in the group that has the sense not to mess with someone as heavily built as Holden. Holden's Roundabout Kick feat gives him the ability to get an extra spinning kick any time he confirms a critical hit, at the same attack bonus as the confirmed critical, and having the high threat range from his Strategic Strike class features and his improved critical feat means that he could potentially get that extra attack often. Also, Holden gets an automatic free disarm or trip attempt anytime the PC's provoke an attack of opportunity or miss an attack by 6 or more. PC's who miss any attack by 8 or more he will attempt to throw into another PC. If he strikes with his final attack of the round, he will attempt to grapple them with him Natural Grappler ability and if he wins the opposed check, he'll use them as a body shield until his next turn when he'll throw them into another PC as a move action. His combat focus, combat stability and combat vigor feats can be found in the Players Handbook II starting on page 87 . Holden is a kind and just person, he will not kill or maim the PC's without strong provokation, but if your players arnt properly prepared, they may not come out the victor.
|Male Human Martial Artist 14|
|LN 6' 6” Medium Humanoid (Human)|
|Init/Senses||7 (5 Dex, 2 Battle Instincts)/Blindsense; Listen +23, Spot +23|
|AC|| 34, touch 30, flat-footed 34; Class Bonus +4, Battle Instincts +2|
(Bracers of Armor +4 , Dex +5, Wis +5, Amulet of Natural +2, Ring of Deflection +2)
|Miss Chance||Improved Uncanny Dodge|
|hp||119 hp average or 168 hp max (14d8 (63) HD); +56 from (Con)|
|Fort/Ref/Will||+13/+16/+11; (+4 during Combat Focus)|
|Speed||70 ft. (14 squares)|
|Melee||Unarmed Strike +20 2d6 15-20 X2 (+4 on attacks of opportunity) or|
|Melee||Unarmed Flurry of Blows +20/+20/+20/+15/+10 2d6 + 10 15-20 X2|
|Space/Reach||5 ft./5 ft.|
|Base Atk/Grp||+14/+29 (14 BAB, 4 Improved Grapple, 6 Str, 5 Dex) (+8 for resisting grapples while in combat focus, stacks with Close Quarters Combat)|
|Combat Gear||amulet of natural armor +2, bracers of armor +4, ring of deflection+2, gloves of dexterity +2, periapt of wisdom|
|Abilities||Str 23 (+6), Dex 21 (+5), Con 18 (+4), Int 12 (+1), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 13 (+1)|
|SQ||Flurry of Blows, Natural Grappler, Improved Uncanny Dodge, Ki Strike (Magic, Lawful, Good, Adamantine, Transdimentional), Defensive Roll, Blindsense 30 ft, Leg Sweep, Whirlwind Kick, Fast Healing 4 (while in Combat Focus)|
|Feats||Combat Reflexes, Power Attack, Deft Opportunist, Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple, Roundabout Kick, Close Quarters Fighting, Combat Focus, Improved Disarm, Improved Trip, Combat Stability, Improved Critical (Unarmed), Combat Vigor|
|Skills||Climb (Str) +10 (?r), Hide (Dex) +22 (?r), Intimidate (Cha) +10 (?r), Jump (Strength) +10 (?r), Listen (Wis) +22 (?r), Move Silently (Dex) +22 (?r), Spot (Wis) +22 (10r), Tumble (Dex) +22 (?r),|
|Possessions||combat gear plus +2, potion of cure moderate wounds X4, Backpack, acid (flask), Antitoxin (vial), Bedroll, Belt Pouch, Caltrops ×4, Crowbar, Flask, Flint and Steel, Grappling Hook X2, Hammer, Ink Vial, Ink Pen X2, Parchment X10, Piton X10, Silk Rope 50ft, smokestick ×5, Sunrod X2, tanglefoot bag, Tent, Thunderstone, Torch X5, Trail Rations (6 days), Waterskin, Whetstone. 2,000 gp onhand/at home, mostly in platinum|
|Patron Deity||St Cuthbert|
|Natural Grappler||Holden can ininate a grapple at any time without provoking an attack of opportunity and can also initiate a grapple as a free action anytime he successfully hits with an unarmed attack. Holden adds both his Strength and Dexterity modifiers to all grapple checks.|
|Acrobatic Combatant||Anytime Holden is tripped he can make an immediate DC 20 Balance check to negate the trip, can kip up from prone as a free action without provoking an AoO. Holden gets a bonus to AC equal to ½ class level for taking a defensive action and a bonus to AC equal to class level for taking a total defense action.|
|Retaliation (Maneuvers)||Holden has Improved Disarm and Improved Trip as bonus feats, allowing him to make disarm or trip attempts without provoking an attack of opportunity and with a +4 bonus on the check. Any time an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity against Holden, he may choose to instead make a free disarm or trip attack in place of one of his normal attacks of opportunity for the round. In addition, any opponent who misses any attack against Holden by 6 or more provokes an immediate attack of opportunity from Holden which can only be used to make either a disarm or trip attempt and counts against his allowed attacks|
|Allowed Alignments||Lawful Good +, Lawful Neutral +, Lawful Evil +, Neutral Good +, Neutral +, Neutral Evil +, Chaotic Good +, Chaotic Neutral + and Chaotic Evil +|
|Article Balance||High +|
|Challenge Rating||14 +|
|Identifier||3.5e Class +|
|Name||Holden Price +|
|Rated By||Luigifan18 + and Franken Kesey +|
|Rating||Rating Pending +|
|Size||6' 6” Medium +|
|Skill||Balance +, Climb +, Concentration +, Craft +, Escape Artist +, Heal +, Hide +, Intimidate +, Jump +, Knowledge +, Listen +, Move Silently +, Perform +, Profession +, Spot +, Swim +, Tumble +, Diplomacy +, Handle Animal + and Sense Motive +|
|Summary||A Martial Artist is a Monk who has foregone the pursuit of self perfection to focus purely on his unarmed physical art of kicking people's butts. +|
|Title||Martial Artist +|
|Type||Humanoid (Human) +|