Ki Swordsmanship

The first ideal of swordsmanship is achieved when the sword is present in the hand. When this is achieved, even a blade of grass can be a weapon.

The second ideal of swordsmanship is achieved when the sword is absent from the hand, and present in the heart. When this is achieved, the swordsman can strike down foes from a distance, even with bare hands.

The third ideal of swordsmanship is achieved when the sword is absent from both the hand and the heart. When this is achieved, the swordsman is at peace, and works to bring peace to all.

Such are the truths of Ki Swordsmanship, which despite its name, is about much more than just swordplay. Less a school, and more an entire tradition of martial prowess, it exemplifies the practice of merging the practical and the philosophical into a single, all-encompassing discipline. All sorts of legends have grown up around the deeds and abilities of the greatest ki swordsmen; some of them are even true. Not all warriors who follow this path will reach the final destination, but some would say that the journey itself is perhaps the true destination.

Ki Swordsmanship Mastery

Prerequisites: Non-evil, non-chaotic alignment, Dodge, Iron Will, Mobility, Quick-Draw, Weapon Proficiency (all martial weapons), Acrobatics class ability, 10 ranks in Balance, 10 ranks in Jump, 10 ranks in Tumble. Must be trained by a spirit warrior (see below).

Training benefit: Your melee attacks are treated as if made by a good-aligned weapon, and thus bypass the corresponding damage reduction. This is a supernatural ability.

Social benefit: Masters of Ki Swordsmanship are the heirs to an unparalleled martial tradition. They gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Intimidate checks, except against other masters of this style.

Ki Swordsmanship mastery is a prerequisite for taking the spirit warrior prestige class.


Spirit Warrior

Prerequisites

Base attack bonus: +6.

Other: Must have achieved mastery of the Ki Swordsmanship style.

Class Statistics

Hit Die: d8.

Class Skills: Balance (Dex), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (religion) (Int), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Tumble (Dex).

Skill Points/Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Level

Base Attack Bonus

Fort
Save

Ref
Save

Will
Save


Special

1

+1

+0

+2

+2

Imbued strike +1, Light Step, AC bonus

2

+2

+0

+3

+3

Evasion, Martial Finesse

3

+3

+1

+3

+3

Imbued strike +2, acrobatics (+10)

4

+4

+1

+4

+4

Instinctive strike

5

+5

+1

+4

+4

Imbued strike +3, air walk

6

+6

+2

+5

+5

Acrobatics (+20)

7

+7

+2

+5

+5

Imbued strike +4, Missile Evasion

8

+8

+2

+6

+6

Distant strike

9

+9

+3

+6

+6

Imbued strike +5, acrobatics (+30)

10

+10

+3

+7

+7

Improved evasion, greater air walk

Special Abilities

The spirit warrior's special abilities only function if he is wearing light or no armor, and carrying no more than a light load.

Weapon and armor proficiency: The spirit warrior gains no armor or weapon proficiencies beyond those he already has.

AC bonus: The spirit warrior can add his prestige class levels to his martial artist levels (if any) to determine his level-based dodge bonus to AC.

Light Step (Su): The spirit warrior gains this as a bonus feat, if he doesn't have it already. He does not have to meet the usual prerequisites for the feat.

Imbued Strike (Su): The spirit warrior learns to channel the force of his ki into his weapon. He gains Imbued Strike as a bonus feat, if he doesn't have it already. Every second level thereafter, starting at 3rd, the enhancement bonus he gains to attacks and damage increases by +1, to a maximum of +5.

The spirit warrior's imbued strike cannot cause the total equivalent bonus of a weapon to exceed +10. If the bonus granted by this ability, along with existing weapon enchantments, is greater than +10, the excess is discarded. For example, a 10th level spirit warrior is wielding a +1 speed, holy, shocking burst longsword (total equivalent bonus +8). The spirit warrior's imbued strike would normally grant him a +5 enhancement bonus, overlapping with the sword's own +1 enhancement bonus. However, this would take the total bonus of the sword to +12, so the excess is discarded to bring it down to +10. The sword's final enhancement bonus in the hands of the spirit warrior is +3.

Evasion (Ex): At 2nd level, the spirit warrior gains evasion. If exposed to any effect that allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, he takes no damage on a successful save. Evasion can only be used if the spirit warrior is wearing light or no armor.

Martial Finesse (Ex): At 2nd level, the spirit warrior can use his Dexterity bonus instead of his Strength bonus on attack rolls with any light or one-handed weapon. He also gains this benefit with the bastard sword, glaive, quarterstaff, spear, spiked chain, or two-bladed sword, even if these weapons would normally be two-handed for him. If the spirit warrior also has the Martial Finesse feat with an individual weapon type, he gains a +1 competence bonus to attacks with that weapon.

Acrobatics (Su): At 3rd level, the spirit warrior gains a +10 competence bonus to Balance, Jump and Tumble skill checks. At 6th level this bonus increases to +20, and at 9th level, to +30.

Instinctive Strike (Ex): At 4th level, the spirit warrior can apply his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his melee damage rolls in place of his Strength bonus. The Wisdom bonus is not multiplied by 1.5 for two-handed weapons, or by 0.5 for an off-hand weapon. This does not stack with the Instinctive Strike feat, if the spirit warrior has that feat.

Air Walk (Sp): At 5th level, the spirit warrior can air walk once per day, for a duration of up to one hour.

Missile Evasion (Ex): At 7th level, the spirit warrior gains this as a bonus feat, if he doesn't have it already.

Distant Strike (Su): At 8th level, the spirit warrior learns the secrets of striking at his enemies from a distance, even while his sword never leaves his hand. His control of his ki is such that the force of his blows is transmitted to his foe.

When using this ability, the spirit warrior can use the attack or full attack action to strike a single foe up to 30 feet away with melee weapon(s). His attacks are treated as melee attacks. The spirit warrior cannot make attacks of opportunity for the rest of the round in which he uses distant strike. This is a supernatural ability that can be used up to three times per day.

Improved Evasion (Ex): At 10th level, the spirit warrior's evasion ability improves. He still takes no damage on a successful Reflex saving throw against attacks such as a dragon's breath weapon or a fireball, but henceforth he only takes half damage on a failed save.

Greater Air Walk (Sp): At 10th level, the spirit warrior can air walk three times per day, for up to one hour per use. Furthermore, he is not limited in the direction (up or down) he can air walk; effectively he gains a fly speed equal to his normal speed, with perfect maneuverability. This replaces his Air Walk ability (see above).

Ex-Masters

A spirit warrior who violates the alignment prerequisites for this prestige class, but remains non-evil, retains his special abilities. A spirit warrior who becomes evil loses all his special abilities, including his mastery benefits. In both cases, he may not advance further in this prestige class.


Sample Spirit Warrior

Shard (not his real name) is an unassuming man whose main distinguishing mark is the two swords strapped to his side and back. He's spent half of his twenty-five years mastering the techniques and secrets of Ki Swordsmanship. He's also one of the most notorious outlaws in the empire.

For many years the governor of the local province, a cruel, avaricious man, has ruled his lands like a tyrant. He taxes the populace heavily, and tortures those who dare to complain before executing them. In desperation, the people turned to the local Ki Swordsmanship academy, where Shard was a student, to protect them from the tax collectors. They did so, but it was a decision that brought them into conflict with the governor. Matters came to a head two years ago, when assassins murdered the school's grand master and several of the other masters. The survivors were pronounced outlaws and forced to flee.

Shard is now the last survivor of the academy, his fellow students all having been killed or driven into exile. He strives to carry on his masters' work in opposing the tyranny of the governor, and has made himself something of a local hero in the process. The governor has placed a huge price on his head, but to no avail. Shard has also sworn revenge on the assassins who killed his masters, even as he knows they may be sent against him.

Shard: human male MA7/spirit warrior 5; CR 12; HD 12d8+36 (110 hp); Init +5; Spd 40 ft (base 30 ft); AC 27 (touch 23, flat-footed 19); BAB +12; Grap +14; Atk +20/+15/+10 melee (1d8+7/1720, +1 keen longsword) and +18 melee (1d6+7/1720, +1 keen shortsword); SA Imbued strike +3, instinctive strike, martial finesse, ki swordsmanship mastery; SQ Evasion, uncanny dodge, improved uncanny dodge, Acrobatics (+10), air walk; AL NG; SV Fort +13, Ref +18, Will +16; Str 14, Dex 20, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 18, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Balance +37*, Hide +10, Intimidate +16, Jump +29*, Knowledge (religion) +6, Move Silently +15, Sense Motive +19, Tumble +32*, Dodge, Expertise, Imbued StrikeB (+3), Iron Will, Light StepB, Martial Finesse (longsword), Missile EvasionB, Mobility, Quick-Draw, Spring Attack, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (longsword).
* includes +10 competence bonus from Acrobatics.
includes +5 bonus from Light Step.
B indicates bonus feat gained from the spirit warrior prestige class.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Shard has the extraordinary ability to react to danger before his senses would normally allow him to do so. He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC regardless of being caught flat-footed or struck by an invisible attacker.

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Shard cannot be flanked, except by a rogue of at least 11th level.

Ki Swordsmanship Mastery (Su): Shard's melee attacks are treated as if made by a good-aligned weapon.

Imbued Strike (Su): Shard can channel the force of his ki into his weapon, gaining Imbued Strike as a bonus feat. He gains a +3 enhancement bonus to melee attacks and damage, and he can bypass DR as if wielding a magic weapon.

Imbued strike cannot cause the total equivalent bonus of a weapon to exceed +10. If the bonus granted by this ability, along with existing weapon enchantments, is greater than +10, the excess is discarded.

Evasion (Ex): If exposed to any effect that allows a Reflex saving throw for half damage, Shard takes no damage on a successful save.

Martial Finesse (Ex): Shard can use his Dexterity bonus instead of his Strength bonus on attack rolls with any weapon of his size category or smaller. He gains a further +1 competence bonus to attacks with a longsword.

Acrobatics (Su): Shard gains a +10 competence bonus to Balance, Jump and Tumble skill checks. He can take 10 on any Balance, Jump or Tumble check, even if circumstances would normally keep him from doing so.

Instinctive Strike (Ex): Shard applies his Wisdom bonus (+4) to his melee damage rolls in place of his Strength bonus.

Air Walk (Sp): Shard can air walk once per day, for a duration of up to one hour.

Equipment: +1 keen longsword, +1 keen shortsword, +3 bracers of armour, +1 ring of protection, +1 amulet of natural armour, +2 gloves of Dexterity, +2 belt of Constitution, +4 circlet of Wisdom, +4 robe of resistance, boots of striding and springing.


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