Improved Samurai

( ⇪ Classes )

These barbarian-like abilities also allow the samurai to specialize in mounted archery.

GM’s Note: Be aware of these fixes to the samurai.

Battle Ecstasy: Similar to a barbarian’s rage, and has the same number of uses per day as a barbarian has rage uses at that class level. While in battle ecstasy, he temporarily gains a +4 bonus to Dexerity, a +4 bonus to Constitution, and DR 1/-. He can use any skill or feat while in battle ecstasy, but all skill checks except for Handle Animal and Ride take a -2 penalty. Battle ecstasy lasts a number of rounds equal to 3 + the character’s new Constitution modifier. He may end battle ecstasy early. When it ends, he loses its modifiers and restrictions and becomes fatigued for the rest of the encounter. Beginning at 17th level, the samurai is no longer fatigued after leaving a battle ecstasy.

Skills: Riding bareback gives no Ride penalty, and you gain a +2 bonus if using a saddle. Handle Animal is a class skill. Choose one kind of animal you could ride (such as a horse). You gain a +2 bonus on Handle Animal checks for dealing with that kind of animal.

Katana Finesse: You can use the Weapon Finesse feat with a katana.

Animal Companion: At 4th level, one mount becomes an animal companion as per the ranger ability of the same level. The samurai must own and ride the animal for at least two months before he can bond with it in this way. Treat the mount in all ways as the animal companion of a ranger of the same level as the samurai’s class levels, except the samurai’s mount retains the animal type. If the mount is killed or otherwise lost, the samurai can find a new companion mount after 1d4 months of searching and a successful DC 15 Handle Animal check.

Mounted Archer: At 6th level, gain Improved Mounted Archery (CW 101) as a bonus feat.

Optional Horselord Variant for the Complete Warrior Samurai

Yumi Proficiency (Replaces Daisho Proficiency): In ranged combat, a CW Horselord Samurai is proficient with and favors the daikyū (a masterwork greatbow; CW 154) and the hankyū (a masterwork longbow), and receives an heirloom set of these two bows, known as the yumi. He can use the daikyū or hankyū while mounted.

Bonus Feats: The Two Swords as One, Iaijutsu Master, Improved Two Swords as One, and Greater Two Swords as One abilities are replaced with Far Shot, Mounted Combat, Ranged Weapon Mastery (piercing), and Penetrating Shot as bonus feats (respectively).

Breaking Stare (Ex): At 4th level, when attempting to change behavior, a CW Horselord Samurai can spend 1 use of their kiai smite ability to negate a target’s Wisdom modifier for a single Intimidate check. At 9th level, a samurai negates a target’s modifiers on saves against fear. At 13th level, a samurai negates a paladin’s immunity from being intimidated. At 15th level, a samurai treats the size modifier of an intimidate target as one category smaller. At 18th level, it’s treated as two categories smaller.

Interrogator (Ex): At 19th level, when making an Intimidate check to change behavior, a CW Horselord Samurai may take 10 even if stress and distractions would normally prevent the character from doing so.

Frightful Presence: Replace “draws his blade” with “draws his daikyū or hankyū”.

Optional Horselord Variant for the Oriental Adventures Samurai

Ancestral Yumi (Replaces Ancestral Daisho): An OA Horselord Samurai begins play with a daikyū and hankyū, which he can use while mounted if he is proficient with them (by default he is not). The enhancement aspects of the Ancestral Daisho feature instead apply to the Ancestral Yumi. Weapon-specific feats can select the greatbow any time it’s legal to select the katana. When a horselord samurai of at least 4th level wields his own ancestral daikyū or hankyū, the weapon is considered an honorable weapon for the purpose of bypassing the damage reduction of certain creatures.

Bonus Feats: The OA Horselord Samurai loses the bonus feats at levels 4 and 16.

Improved Samurai

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